[ rab-it ]
/ ˈræb ɪt /


a deep notch formed in or near one edge of a board, framing timber, etc., so that something else can be fitted into it or so that a door or the like can be closed against it.
a broad groove let into the surface of a board or the like; dado.

verb (used with object), rab·bet·ed, rab·bet·ing.

to cut a rabbet in (a board or the like).
to join (boards or the like) by means of a rabbet or rabbets.

verb (used without object), rab·bet·ed, rab·bet·ing.

to join by a rabbet (usually followed by on or over).
Also rebate.

Origin of rabbet

1350–1400; Middle English rabet < Old French rabat, derivative of rabattre to beat back, beat down; see rebate1

Related forms

un·rab·bet·ed, adjective

Can be confused

rabbet rabbit rarebit rebate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rabbeting

British Dictionary definitions for rabbeting



/ (ˈræbɪt) /


a recess, groove, or step, usually of rectangular section, cut into a surface or along the edge of a piece of timber to receive a mating piece
a joint made between two pieces of timber using a rabbet

verb (tr)

to cut or form a rabbet in (timber)
to join (pieces of timber) using a rabbet

Word Origin for rabbet

C15: from Old French rabattre to beat down
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for rabbeting


[ răbĭ-tĭng ]


The making of congruous stepwise cuts on apposing bone surfaces for firmly holding together a fractured bone.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.