wharf rat

  1. a large brown rat that is commonly found on wharves.

  2. a person who lives or loiters near wharves, often existing by pilfering from ships or warehouses.

Origin of wharf rat

An Americanism dating back to 1815–25

Words Nearby wharf rat

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use wharf rat in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wharf rat

wharf rat

  1. any rat, usually a brown rat, that infests wharves

  2. informal a person who haunts wharves, usually for dishonest purposes

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