Origin of rarebit

First recorded in 1715–25
Can be confusedrabbet rabbit rarebit rebate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rarebit

Historical Examples of rarebit

  • They had the Welsh rarebit, with beer, and Carl helped to make it.

    The Trail of the Hawk

    Sinclair Lewis

  • "Let's stop in and have a rarebit," he suggested one midnight.

    Sister Carrie

    Theodore Dreiser

  • We are going over to the Lewinsohns for four-handed rummy and then a rarebit.

    Local Color

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • The use of rarebit in this connection is from ignorance long current.

  • Will you go down to the dining-room with me and have a Welsh rarebit?

    An Ambitious Man

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox

British Dictionary definitions for rarebit


  1. another term for Welsh rabbit

Word Origin for rarebit

C18: by folk etymology from (Welsh) rabbit; see rare ², bit 1
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

Word Origin and History for rarebit

1785, perversion of (Welsh) rabbit, as if from rare + bit. See Welsh.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper