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Meaning of rat

rat

Pronunciation: (rat), [key]
— n., interj., v., rat•ted, rat•ting.
—n.
  1. any of several long-tailed rodents of the family Muridae, of the genus Rattus and related genera, distinguished from the mouse by being larger.
  2. any of various similar or related animals.
  3. a scoundrel.
    1. a person who abandons or betrays his or her party or associates, esp. in a time of trouble.
    2. an informer.
    3. a scab laborer.
  4. a person who frequents a specified place: mall rat; gym rat.
  5. a pad with tapered ends formerly used in women's hair styles to give the appearance of greater thickness.
  6. to suspect or surmise treachery; have suspicion: After noting several discrepancies in his client's story, the attorney began to smell a rat.
—interj.
  1. (an exclamation of disappointment, disgust, or disbelief.)
—v.i.
  1. He ratted on the gang, and the police arrested them.
    1. to desert one's party or associates, esp. in a time of trouble.
    2. to turn informer; squeal:He ratted on the gang, and the police arrested them.
    3. to work as a scab.
  2. to hunt or catch rats.
—v.t.
  1. to dress (the hair) with or as if with a rat.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also:
  • rat (Thesaurus)