- any of several soft-furred, large-eared, rodentlike burrowing mammals of the family Leporidae, allied with the hares and pikas in the order Lagomorpha, having a divided upper lip and long hind legs, usually smaller than the hares and mainly distinguished from them by bearing blind and furless young in nests rather than fully developed young in the open.
- any of various small hares.
- the fur of a rabbit or hare, often processed to imitate another fur.
- Welsh rabbit.
- a runner in a distance race whose goal is chiefly to set a fast pace, either to exhaust a particular rival so that a teammate can win or to help another entrant break a record; pacesetter.
- British Informal. a person who is poor at sports, especially golf, tennis, or cricket.
- pull a rabbit out of the hat, to find or obtain a sudden solution to a problem: Unless somebody pulls a rabbit out of the hat by next week, we'll be bankrupt.
Origin of rabbit
- John CorneliusJohnnyRabbitJeep, 1906–70, U.S. jazz saxophonist.
Related Words for rabbitrodent, hare, bunny, buck, cony, capon, doe, cuniculus, cottontail, chinchilla, lapin, coney, lagomorph
Examples from the Web for rabbit
Contemporary Examples of rabbit
With Big Eyes a lot of people, myself included, were glad to see you emerge from the rabbit hole that is the CG world.Tim Burton Talks ‘Big Eyes,’ His Taste For the Macabre, and the ‘Beetlejuice’ Sequel
December 17, 2014
He eventually brings his wife and children over, and later he manages a hen and rabbit farm.Nothing Was Banal About Eichmann’s Evil, Says a Scathing New Biography
October 11, 2014
He weighed only 185 pounds, but he had killer instincts and rabbit quickness and the stamina of a mule.Football Great Bob Suffridge Wanders Through the End Zone of Life
September 6, 2014
Because when my rabbit died he was like, “Want a new rabbit?”
He wanted to get rid of that rabbit, but the kids wanted it, so it stayed.
Historical Examples of rabbit
I looked and saw a huge gray squirrel with a tail like a rabbit.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
A Welsh rabbit, in the speech of the humorless, who point out that it is not a rabbit.The Devil's Dictionary
Put the pieces of rabbit on a hot dish, and pour the gravy over them.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
He clavers them over with flattery as the snake clavers the rabbit.American Notes
Then she became aware that she no longer had the rabbit warren to herself.The Incomplete Amorist
- any of various common gregarious burrowing leporid mammals, esp Oryctolagus cuniculus of Europe and North Africa and the cottontail of America. They are closely related and similar to hares but are smaller and have shorter ears
- the fur of such an animal
- British informal a novice or poor performer at a game or sport
- (intr) to hunt or shoot rabbits
- (intr ; often foll by on or away) British informal to talk inconsequentially; chatter
Word Origin for rabbit
late 14c., "young of the coney," from French dialect (cf. Walloon robète), diminutive of Flemish or Middle Dutch robbe "rabbit," of unknown origin. "A Germanic noun with a French suffix" [Liberman]. The adult was a coney (q.v.) until 18c.
Zoologically speaking, there are no native rabbits in the United States; they are all hares. But the early colonists, for some unknown reason, dropped the word hare out of their vocabulary, and it is rarely heard in American speech to this day. When it appears it is almost always applied to the so-called Belgian hare, which, curiously enough, is not a hare at all, but a true rabbit. [Mencken, "The American Language"]
Rabbit punch "chop on the back of the neck" so called from resemblance to a gamekeeper's method of dispatching an injured rabbit. Pulling rabbits from a hat as a conjurer's trick recorded by 1843. Rabbit's foot "good luck charm" first attested 1879, in U.S. Southern black culture. Earlier references are to its use as a tool to apply cosmetic powders.
[N]ear one of them was the dressing-room of the principal danseuse of the establishment, who was at the time of the rising of the curtain consulting a mirror in regard to the effect produced by the application of a rouge-laden rabbit's foot to her cheeks, and whose toilet we must remark, passim, was not entirely completed. ["New York Musical Review and Gazette," Nov. 29, 1856]
Rabbit ears "dipole television antenna" is from 1950. Grose's 1788 "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" has "RABBIT CATCHER. A midwife."
see pull (a rabbit) out of a hat.