- a terrier of any of several breeds developed especially for catching rats, as the Manchester terrier.
Origin of rat terrier
First recorded in 1850–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for rat terrier
Only the point of it stuck up; the rest was clipped as clean as a rat-terrier's.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
Cupid is a rat-terrier, but he likes to hunt rabbits better than rats.
A rat-terrier believes that on his home grounds he can whip an elephant.Penrod
She would know how to depress a rat-terrier with it and make a lap-dog look sorry he came.The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories
He lacked imagination, and he had the manner of a rat-terrier toward people not of his own kind; but he was one good executive.The U-boat hunters
James B. Connolly