- a person who abandons or betrays his or her party or associates, especially in a time of trouble.
- an informer.
- a scab laborer.
verb (used without object), rat·ted, rat·ting.
- to desert one's party or associates, especially in a time of trouble.
- to turn informer; squeal: He ratted on the gang, and the police arrested them.
- to work as a scab.
verb (used with object), rat·ted, rat·ting.
Origin of rat
Related formsrat·like, adjective
Examples from the Web for rats
And in a city with large slums and poor sanitation, rats can thrive easily, fleas and all, to spread the plague.
The researchers first isolated a set of cells known as neural stem cells (NSCs) from the brains of rats.Fish Oil, Turmeric, and Ginseng, Oh My! Are ‘Brain Foods’ B.S.?|Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD|October 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“Did you want to know about rats,” he asked, finally, as we walk down the hill to drink tea in his living room.
The results: Even moderate MDMA doses in conditions that mimic hot, crowded, social settings could be lethal to rats.Why Molly Is Especially Deadly at Summer Music Festivals|Abby Haglage|June 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
So, they randomly select a poor villager and strap a bucket of rats against his chest.
Like rats, mice appear to act in companies, either under leadership or by common consent.Natural History in Anecdote|Various
This species is found almost exclusively in salt marshes, where they skulk about like rats.Bird Guide|Chester A. Reed
He saw himself a stowaway hidden in a hold, alone with rats and ships' biscuits.The Prophet of Berkeley Square|Robert Hichens
A lovely way to spend Christmas shut in like rats in a trap!A Lover in Homespun|F. Clifford Smith
The Rats had developed a device that could make a star temporarily unstable, and they were ready to use it on Sol.The Measure of a Man|Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for rats (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for rats (2 of 2)
verb rats, ratting or ratted
- to divulge secret information (about); betray the trust (of)
- to default (on); abandonhe ratted on the project at the last minute
Derived Formsratlike, adjective
Word Origin for rat
Medicine definitions for rats
Idioms and Phrases with rats
In addition to the idioms beginning with rat
- rat on
- rat race
- like a drowned rat
- smell a rat