rat definition, rat meaning | English dictionary

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1    any of numerous long-tailed murine rodents, esp. of the genus Rattus, that are similar to but larger than mice and are now distributed all over the world  
   See also       brown rat       black rat  
2    Informal   a person who deserts his friends or associates, esp. in time of trouble  
3    Informal   a worker who works during a strike; blackleg; scab  
4    Slang     (chiefly U.S.)   an informer; stool pigeon  
5    Informal   a despicable person  
6    smell a rat   to detect something suspicious  
      vb   , rats, ratting, ratted  
7    intr; usually foll by: on  
a    to divulge secret information (about); betray the trust (of)  
b    to default (on); abandon  
he ratted on the project at the last minute     
8    to hunt and kill rats,   (See also)        rats  
     (Old English rætt; related to Old Saxon ratta, Old High German rato)  
  ratlike      adj  

black rat  
      n   a common rat, Rattus rattus: a household pest that has spread from its native Asia to all countries  
brown rat  
      n   a common brownish rat, Rattus norvegicus: a serious pest in all parts of the world,   (Also called)    Norway rat  
cane rat  
1      (Also called (in W Africa))    cutting grass   a tropical African cavy-like hystricomorph rodent, Thryonomys swinderianus, that lives in swampy regions: family Thryonomyidae  
2    a similar but smaller species, T. gregorianus  
desert rat  
1    a jerboa, Jaculus orientalis, inhabiting the deserts of N Africa  
2      (Brit)  
informal   a soldier who served in North Africa with the British 7th Armoured Division in 1941--42  
kangaroo rat  
1    any small leaping rodent of the genus Dipodomys, related to the squirrels and inhabiting desert regions of North America, having a stocky body and very long hind legs and tails: family Heteromyidae  
2      (Also called)    kangaroo mouse   any of several leaping murine rodents of the Australian genus Notomys  
Maori rat  
      n   a small brown rat, Rattus exulans Peale, native to New Zealand  
mole rat  
1    any burrowing molelike African rodent of the family Bathyergidae  
2    any similar rodent, esp. any member of the genus Spalax, of Asia and North Africa: family Spalacidae  
3    another name for bandicoot rat (see bandicoot (sense 2))  
moon rat  
      n   a ratlike SE Asian nocturnal mammal, Echinosorex gymnurus, with greyish fur and an elongated snout: family Erinaceidae (hedgehogs): the largest living insectivore  
Norway rat  
      n      another name for       brown rat  
pack rat  
      n   any rat of the genus Neotoma, of W North America, having a long tail that is furry in some species: family Cricetidae,   (Also called)    wood rat  
rat-a-tat-tat   , rat-a-tat  
      n   the sound of knocking on a door  
      n   a person whose job is to destroy or drive away vermin, esp. rats  
rat kangaroo  
      n   any of several ratlike kangaroos of the genera Bettongia, Potorous, Aepyprymnus, etc., found on the Australian mainland and in Tasmania  
rat race  
      n   a continual routine of hectic competitive activity  
working in the City is a real rat race     
rat snake  
      n   any of various nonvenomous rodent-eating colubrid snakes, such as Elaphe obsoleta of North America and Ptyas mucosus of Asia  
1    another name for grenadier (the fish)  
a    a horse's tail that has no hairs  
b    a horse having such a tail  
3    a style of spoon in which the line of the handle is prolonged in a tapering moulding along the back of the bowl  
4    a kind of woodworking or metalworking file  
      n      a variant of       rat-a-tat-tat  
1    a device for catching rats  
2    Informal   a type of bicycle pedal having serrated steel foot pads and a toe clip  
rug rat  
      n     (U.S. and Canadian)  
informal   a child not yet walking  
water rat  
1    any of several small amphibious rodents, esp. the water vole or the muskrat  
2    any of various amphibious rats of the subfamily Hydromyinae, of New Guinea, the Philippines, and Australia  
3    Informal   a person who is very fond of water sports  
wharf rat  
1    any rat, usually a brown rat, that infests wharves  
2    Informal   a person who haunts wharves, usually for dishonest purposes  
white rat  
      n   a white variety of the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), used extensively in scientific research  
wood rat  
      n      another name for       pack rat  
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus  


1    bad lot, bastard     (offensive)   bounder     (old-fashioned Brit. slang)   cad     (old-fashioned Brit. informal)   heel     (slang)   ratfink     (slang, chiefly U.S. and Canad.)   rogue, rotter     (slang, chiefly Brit.)   scoundrel, shit     (taboo slang)   shyster     (informal, chiefly U.S.)  
2    betrayer, deceiver, defector, deserter, double-crosser, grass     (Brit. informal)   informer, nark     (slang)   quisling, snake in the grass, stool pigeon, traitor, two-timer     (informal)  
3      (with)       on   abandon, betray, defect, desert, do the dirty on     (Brit. informal)   leave high and dry, leave (someone) in the lurch, run out on     (informal)   sell down the river     (informal)  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

rats! id.
damn it!
Rats! I will be late to the meeting.

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