Definition of rat in English:
- Most people are familiar with mice, rats, hamsters, and guinea pigs, which are commonly kept as pets.
- Cane rats should not be confused with domestic rodents such as rats and mice which can be disease-carrying vermin.
- Up until 1987 this kind of experiment had only done in rodents, rats and mice, and in lower organisms.
- He, who's a braggart and a drunk and a rat and a scoundrel, at his death bed, says, I find Christ.
- How can you make a philandering love cheat, who works his way through a family of sisters, anything but a rogue and a rat?
- ‘For your information this little rat insulted me’ Debbie huffed sticking her chin up snobbishly.
- It's different when Right Wingers want to crush free speech and create a police state environment of informers and rats in a house of worship.
- I go by beeper now because there's too many rats [informants] on the street.
- Mr. Ken told me that the rat was an informant for the enemy.
- There's nowhere else I'd rather be right now - on a trip in South Africa with a good crew and having fun, skating everyday, and doing a real skate rat tour.
- Mali, while seeming sophisticated, wanders in and out of ghetto rat behavior, especially when it comes to her man, Tad Honeywell.
- At the first, it was decided to axe three popular characters - love rat doctor Matt Ramsden, his teacher wife Charlie, and shopworker Bobbi Lewis.
exclamation(rats) informal Back to top
- I just came upstairs to check the price of something on eBay (under $10, rats!) and saw the clock.
- Divisions were actually for sale at Behnke, a nursery local to me and I didn't know it - rats!
verb (rats, ratting, ratted)[no object] Back to top
- In another era, perhaps he and his mates would simply have gone out poaching or ratting, grumbling about bloody women along the way.
- The Shar Pei still exhibits these herding and ratting instincts.
- The Giant Schnauzer's original job was ratting.
- The Stability Pact was to have kept the currency health, but it became inconvenient for France, which ratted, followed by Germany, France, Italy, Holland, and Greece.
- Shortly afterwards, getting into his car, he was called by name and, when he turned, was shot through the forehead by a fellow extremist who suspected he had ratted.
- The other men don't shoot the soldier who ratted, however.
- Her ponytail was ratted and her bangs were sticking up all over while her braids were perfectly fine as they always were.
- She's got long black hair, ratted and dry, and it hangs down over her shoulders like a fern that hasn't been watered in weeks.
- There was Stacey in her big girl bra, ratted out hair and adult acne.
like a rat up a drainpipe
- British informal Very quickly or eagerly: I shot up the ladder like a rat up a drainpipeMore example sentences
- I can't help thinking if her children were bullied, she would be in the head's office like a rat up a drainpipe.
- If the technology is truly feasible and saves money as they say it does, then the private market will be into it like a rat up a drainpipe.
- If these proposed "innovations" are so marvellous, why aren't private investors piling into them like a rat up a drainpipe!?
- (also North American rat someone out) informal Inform on (someone): he refused to rat on his buddiesMore example sentences
inform on/against, betray, be disloyal to, be unfaithful to, break one's promise to, break faith with, sell out, stab someone in the backinformal tell on, sell down the river, blow the whistle on, squeal on, stitch up, peach on, do the dirty onBritish informal grass on, shopAustralian informal pimp on, pool, put someone's pot on
- Words and titles are about to become very important as people figure out which one of Cheney's goons ratted her out.
- ‘I don't think you should rat her out, but let her know you saw her cheating and that it could get her in a lot of trouble,’ suggests Lindsay.
- I hadn't planned on ratting Ryan out anyway, but his response had taken me by surprise.
- 1.1Break (an agreement or promise): he accused the government of ratting on an earlier pledgeMore example sentences
- If we believe Gordon's account, as relayed through Robert Peston, Blair ratted on a promise to go by November of last year.
- He ratted on his promise to take me with him - saying that there would be questions in the parliament if he spent too much money.
- Whatever the cause, France ratted on his agreement, retaking Brest by force.
The rat has been part of our language since Anglo-Saxon times, but its ultimate origin is not known. It probably goes back to the time when the creature first came to Europe from Asia. The term rat race has been used since the mid 20th century. The image behind this is of rats struggling with each other to move forward in a confined space, rather than of the ordered world of a race track. Sailing ships would traditionally have been infested with rats, which would try to escape en masse from a vessel that was in trouble. This gave rise to rats deserting a sinking ship. A person has been a rat since the 1760s, and 50 or so years later to rat started to mean ‘to desert a cause, become a traitor’ and then ‘to inform on’. Someone who suspects a trick is said to smell a rat—a phrase which in the 18th century is found as part of an elaborate mixed metaphor attributed to an Irish politician, Boyle Roche: ‘Mr Speaker, I smell a rat; I see him forming in the air and darkening the sky; but I'll nip him in the bud.’
Words that rhyme with ratat, bat, brat, cat, chat, cravat, drat, expat, fat, flat, frat, gat, gnat, hat, hereat, high-hat, howzat, lat, mat, matt, matte, Montserrat, Nat, outsat, pat, pit-a-pat, plait, plat, prat, Rabat, rat-tat, Sadat, sat, scat, Sebat, shabbat, shat, skat, slat, spat, splat, sprat, stat, Surat, tat, that, thereat, tit-for-tat, vat, whereat
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.