noun, plural rab·bits, (especially collectively) rab·bit for 1-3.
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Idioms for rabbit
Origin of rabbit
OTHER WORDS FROM rabbitrab·bit·like, rab·bit·y, adjective
Words nearby rabbit
BEHIND THE WORD
Where does rabbit come from?
There’s just something about the names of some of the most familiar animals. Like dog, the origin of the word rabbit is obscure. But, at least we are few hops closer to a source with rabbit than we are with dog.
Found in Middle English, rabbit originally meant “young rabbit, bunny,” and was most likely borrowed from a French word. Scholars point us to the Walloon robett and the dialectical Dutch robbe. But from there, it’s an etymological rabbit hole.
Walloon is a French dialect chiefly spoken in southern and southeastern Belgium and neighboring regions in France.
Unsure about the difference between a rabbit and a hare? We’ve got you covered!
Did you know … ?
Because they have so many natural predators, rabbits are famously skittish animals. They can rotate their ears 180 degrees and can pinpoint sounds. Rabbits even use their own “language” of subtle facial twitches and other movements to warn their kin.
The word bunny is often used as an informal synonym of rabbit, as in Bugs Bunny is a rascally rabbit—er, wascally wabbit? The word hare is also commonly used to mean a rabbit, but the two words have different origins, not to mention the fact that they are separate species.
Rabbit is used in a number of idioms and phrases that reference the critter in some way, such as rabbit ears (indoor television antennae, if you remember those) or the expression to breed like rabbits, which alludes to the animal’s proficiency in … making more rabbits.
Example sentences from the Web for rabbit
If you trap a rabbit, you can tell whether it’s male or female.The history of Mulan, from a 6th-century ballad to the live-action Disney movie|Constance Grady|September 4, 2020|Vox
“Downtown Chicago has an overabundance of rabbits,” says Gehrt.
Before coyotes moved in, human trappers had to work to keep rabbit populations under control.
In the 1990s, a team led by José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno, a veterinarian then at the Animal Health Research Center in Madrid, created a recombinant live vaccine to protect rabbits from a lethal hemorrhagic disease.Can Vaccines for Wildlife Prevent Human Pandemics?|Rodrigo Pérez Ortega|August 24, 2020|Quanta Magazine
If she successfully does, this might seem like a good indication that she understands what a rabbit is.Animals That Can Do Math Understand More Language Than We Think|Erik Nelson|June 14, 2020|Singularity Hub
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|Marlow Stern|December 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|Michael Signer|October 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As the creator of Roger Rabbit, he eventually partnered with Walt Disney Pictures for a blockbuster animation film.
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|Paul Hemphill|September 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Because when my rabbit died he was like, “Want a new rabbit?”Amy Sedaris Is Hollywood's Beloved Rabbit-Loving Comedian Crafter|Kevin Fallon|August 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Why he did that, instead of walking around on the shore, Jimmy Rabbit couldn't understand.
"Farmer Green sometimes places scarecrows in the cornfield," Jimmy Rabbit remarked.
She opened her mouth wide showing ten yellow teeth and squealed like a rabbit!
No wonder that Lussigny, when insulted at the tables, had sat like a tame rabbit and had sought him in the garden.
So Henry walked briskly through the woods, feeling sure that the noise in the night had been made by a rabbit.The Box-Car Children|Gertrude Chandler Warner
British Dictionary definitions for rabbit
noun plural -bits or -bit
Word Origin for rabbit
Idioms and Phrases with rabbit
see pull (a rabbit) out of a hat.