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rathole

[rat-hohl] /ˈrætˌhoʊl/
noun
1.
a hole made by a rat, as into a room, barn, etc.:
The first chore in the old building is to plug up the ratholes.
2.
the burrow or shelter of a rat.
3.
any small and uncomfortable room, office, apartment, etc., especially one that is dirty or disordered:
He lives in a rathole near the docks.
Idioms
4.
down the rathole, for a worthless purpose or purposes:
seeing your inheritance disappear down the rathole.
Origin
1805-1815
1805-15; rat + hole
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin and History for rat-hole
n.

also rathole, 1812 in figurative sense of "nasty, messy place;" rat (n.) + hole (n.). As "bottomless hole" (especially one where money goes) from 1961.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rat-hole

rathole

noun

A wretched, messy place; a filthy hovel; dump: Those days we lived in a rathole (1812+)

verb

To store up food and supplies; stockpile; stash (1950s+)

Related Terms

pour money down the drain


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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Word Value for rat

3
3
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