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rabbit

[rab-it] /ˈræb ɪt/
noun, plural rabbits (especially collectively) rabbit for 1–3.
1.
any of several soft-furred, large-eared, rodentlike burrowing mammals of the family Leporidae, allied with the hares and pikas in the order Lagomorpha, having a divided upper lip and long hind legs, usually smaller than the hares and mainly distinguished from them by bearing blind and furless young in nests rather than fully developed young in the open.
2.
any of various small hares.
3.
the fur of a rabbit or hare, often processed to imitate another fur.
5.
a runner in a distance race whose goal is chiefly to set a fast pace, either to exhaust a particular rival so that a teammate can win or to help another entrant break a record; pacesetter.
6.
British Informal. a person who is poor at sports, especially golf, tennis, or cricket.
Idioms
7.
pull a rabbit out of the hat, to find or obtain a sudden solution to a problem:
Unless somebody pulls a rabbit out of the hat by next week, we'll be bankrupt.
Origin
late Middle English
dialectal Dutch
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English rabet(te) young rabbit, bunny, probably < Old North French; compare Walloon robett, dialectal Dutch robbe
Related forms
rabbitlike, rabbity, adjective
Can be confused
rabbet, rabbit, rarebit, rebate.

Hodges

[hoj-iz] /ˈhɒdʒ ɪz/
noun
1.
John Cornelius ("Johnny"; "Rabbit"; "Jeep") 1906–70, U.S. jazz saxophonist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rabbit
  • But venture inside and you'll see how far the rabbit hole goes.
  • It's a kind of magic act that works best when a student pulls the rabbit out of the hat.
  • It may be the end of the road for an endangered species of rabbit.
  • Make your garden greener with a lovely rabbit or a compost bin.
  • Clues as to how such a large rabbit could have evolved at all can be seen in the skull.
  • We've tumbled far, far down the organic rabbit hole.
  • The hat with the fake bottom, which conceals a rabbit.
  • Everybody running behind the unknown dark rabbit hole without knowing where he or she is running towards.
  • She starts off simple with a couple of hoppers, the frog and rabbit.
  • Season the rabbit with salt and pepper and place in a non-corrosive dish.
British Dictionary definitions for rabbit

rabbit

/ˈræbɪt/
noun (pl) -bits, -bit
1.
any of various common gregarious burrowing leporid mammals, esp Oryctolagus cuniculus of Europe and North Africa and the cottontail of America. They are closely related and similar to hares but are smaller and have shorter ears
2.
the fur of such an animal
3.
(Brit, informal) a novice or poor performer at a game or sport
verb
4.
(intransitive) to hunt or shoot rabbits
5.
(intransitive; often foll by on or away) (Brit, informal) to talk inconsequentially; chatter
Word Origin
(senses 1-4) C14: perhaps from Walloon robett, diminutive of Flemish robbe rabbit, of obscure origin(sense 5) C20: from rhyming slang rabbit and pork talk
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
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Word Origin and History for rabbit
n.

late 14c., "young of the coney," from French dialect (cf. Walloon robète), diminutive of Flemish or Middle Dutch robbe "rabbit," of unknown origin. "A Germanic noun with a French suffix" [Liberman]. The adult was a coney (q.v.) until 18c.

Zoologically speaking, there are no native rabbits in the United States; they are all hares. But the early colonists, for some unknown reason, dropped the word hare out of their vocabulary, and it is rarely heard in American speech to this day. When it appears it is almost always applied to the so-called Belgian hare, which, curiously enough, is not a hare at all, but a true rabbit. [Mencken, "The American Language"]
Rabbit punch "chop on the back of the neck" so called from resemblance to a gamekeeper's method of dispatching an injured rabbit. Pulling rabbits from a hat as a conjurer's trick recorded by 1843. Rabbit's foot "good luck charm" first attested 1879, in U.S. Southern black culture. Earlier references are to its use as a tool to apply cosmetic powders.
[N]ear one of them was the dressing-room of the principal danseuse of the establishment, who was at the time of the rising of the curtain consulting a mirror in regard to the effect produced by the application of a rouge-laden rabbit's foot to her cheeks, and whose toilet we must remark, passim, was not entirely completed. ["New York Musical Review and Gazette," Nov. 29, 1856]
Rabbit ears "dipole television antenna" is from 1950. Grose's 1788 "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" has "RABBIT CATCHER. A midwife."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rabbit

rabbit

verb

To run away fast; escape in a hurry; lam: The man who had rabbited was later identified (1887+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with rabbit
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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