Definition of rabbit in English:
- Family Leporidae: several genera and species, in particular the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), which is often kept as a pet or raised for food
- The chances of survival for South Africa's most endangered mammal, the riverine rabbit, looks even more desperate than has commonly been feared.
- Appearances were put in by eastern chipmunks, gray squirrels, a rabbit and our new resident woodchuck.
- Two new extinct species are named (a rabbit and squirrel) and two of the mustelids may represent extinct new species as well.
- From every kitchen in the village arose the most delicious aromas: apple pies, rabbit and chicken pies, fairy cakes, pancakes.
- Wild rabbit has a much darker flesh than farmed rabbit, but both are extremely versatile and, because of the price, you can afford to experiment.
- My recipe for today is an old Australian country recipe for rabbit pie.
verb (rabbits, rabbiting, rabbited)[no object] Back to top
- Hunting with dogs would ban a number of less well-known bloodsports, like hare coursing, mink hunting, rabbiting with terriers.
- This was it, Evelyn recalls thinking, everything would go back to how it used to be; they would go rabbiting in the Phoenix Park, take trips in the car and visit the strawberry beds.
- It does, however, need plenty of exercise and will enjoy a days rabbiting, should the opportunity arise.
- Our mate Robbo came over here for a few weeks last year and when he got back he couldn't stop rabbiting on about the place.
- Some of you may remember, in the dim and distant recesses of your cobwebbed memory, that last week I was rabbiting on about my son's chums and their abundance of confidence when it came to chit-chatting with adults.
- He answered the shop phone and an executive-type started rabbiting on about buying a laptop computer.
- I noticed another junkie watching me: he was trying to decide whether to rabbit or freeze.
- Carlos wants to know why they rabbited and did someone tip them off.
- A rushing in the bushes to her left let her know the Doolittle boys had rabbited.
We think of rabbits as being as much part of the language as of the countryside, but the rabbit was introduced to Britain by the Normans in the 12th century to provide meat and fur. The name is not recorded until the late 14th century, when it meant particularly a young animal of this kind. Before that, rabbits were known as conies. In 16th-century slang a coney was what we would now call a mark—someone to cheat or rob, and doing so was known as ‘coney-catching’. We are not sure where rabbit comes from, but it seems to have come into English from Old French, related to French dialect rabotte meaning ‘young rabbit’. It may be of Dutch origin and have a link with Flemish robbei ‘rabbit’. To breed like rabbits is to reproduce prolifically, like the animal itself. This view of rabbits is of quite long standing. In 1868 Queen Victoria explained why she could not be too excited by acquiring a fourteenth grandchild. ‘It seems to me’ she wrote to her eldest daughter ‘to go on like the rabbits in Windsor Park!’ A person who chatters incessantly is sometimes said to ‘rabbit on’. This expression comes from mid 20th-century rhyming slang, in which rabbit and pork means ‘talk’. See also bunny
breed like rabbits
- informal Reproduce prolifically: they drank like fishes and bred like rabbitsMore example sentences
- Indeed, the main reason for the continued increase in world population is, in the words of a UN consultant, ‘not that people suddenly started breeding like rabbits; it's just that they stopped dying like flies’ .
- He is trying to prevent bunnies breeding like rabbits.
- As for those damned geese, covering our footpaths with droppings, the things breed like rabbits and, on more than one occasion, have stopped traffic as they saunter across our roads.
pull (or bring) a rabbit out of the (or a) hat
- Do something unexpected but ingeniously effective in response to a problem: everyone is waiting to see if the king can pull a rabbit out of the hat and announce a ceasefire the Finance Minister pulled a few rabbits out of the hat to balance the Budget last yearMore example sentences
- A tall order, in particular for the seniors, but with victory at this level long overdue don't be at all surprised if the team pulls a rabbit out of the hat in the guise of a victory that would send us careering into the semi final.
- Kind of like pulling a rabbit out of the hat, only with the Supreme Court.
- All musicians understand that even after years of musical scholarship, in the end, composing successfully is a lot like pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
thank your mother for the rabbits
- Australian A catchphrase used as a farewell: see you tomorrow and thank your mother for the rabbits[popularly attributed to the Depression years when rabbits were welcome gifts]More example sentences
- Once the specifications have been read or the bike test ridden, game over; thank your mother for the rabbits and we'll see you in a couple of months for a complimentary service.
- I held onto the position for so many years and then was turfed out without so much as a 'Thank your mother for the rabbits'.
- Nana would shout a friendly ‘Bye!‘ and then utter, under her breath, ‘and thank your mother for the rabbits!’
- Example sentences
- The playwright's rabbity, put-upon Everyloser is a clock-tower sniper in the making; a weird, nervous, socially maladjusted little knot of nerves riddled with neuroses, delusions and obsessive-compulsions.
- There - munching on a pot plant, stuffing his insolent rabbity face.
- He paused, his black, rabbity eyes examining the audience.
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