QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
decorum

Idioms for rat

    smell a rat, to suspect or surmise treachery; have suspicion: After noting several discrepancies in his client's story, the attorney began to smell a rat.

Origin of rat

before 1000; Middle English rat(t)e, Old English ræt; cognate with Dutch rat, German Ratz, Ratte

OTHER WORDS FROM rat

rat·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for smell a rat

rat
/ (ræt) /

noun

verb rats, ratting or ratted

(intr usually foll by on) informal
  1. to divulge secret information (about); betray the trust (of)
  2. to default (on); abandonhe ratted on the project at the last minute
to hunt and kill rats
See also rats

Derived forms of rat

ratlike, adjective

Word Origin for rat

Old English rætt; related to Old Saxon ratta, Old High German rato
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

Medical definitions for smell a rat

rat
[ răt ]

n.

Any of various long-tailed rodents of the genus Rattus and related genera, including certain strains used in scientific research and certain species that are vectors for various diseases.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for smell a rat

smell a rat

To sense foul play: “They claim they will honor the terms of the contract, but I smell a rat.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with smell a rat (1 of 2)

smell a rat

Suspect something is wrong, especially a betrayal of some kind. For example, When I didn't hear any more from my prospective employer, I began to smell a rat. This expression alludes to a cat sniffing out a rat. [c. 1550]

Idioms and Phrases with smell a rat (2 of 2)

rat

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.