RAT, n. [Probably named from gnawing, and from the root of L. rodo.]A small quadruped of the genus Mus, which infests houses, stores and ships; a troublesome race of animals.To smell a rat, to be suspicious, to be on the watch from suspicion; as a cat by the scent or noise of a rat.
RAT, n. [Sax. ræt; D. rat; G. ratze; Fr. rat; Arm. raz; Sp. rato; Port. id. a rat, and ratos, sharp stones in the sea that wear cables; probably named from gnawing, and from the root of L. rodo.]
The popular name of several species of the genus Mus, which are rodent mammals, or small quadrupeds that infest houses, stores and ships; a troublesome race of animals.
To smell a rat, to be suspicious, to be on the watch from suspicion; as a cat by the scent or noise of a rat.
- One of
several species of small rodents of the genus Mus and allied
genera, larger than mice, that infest houses, stores, and ships,
especially the Norway, or brown, rat (M. decumanus), the black
rat (M. rattus), and the roof rat (M. Alexandrinus).
These were introduced into America from the Old World.
- In English politics, to
desert one's party from interested motives] to forsake one's
associates for one's own advantage; in the trades, to work for less
wages, or on other conditions, than those established by a trades
- A round and tapering mass of hair, or
similar material, used by women to support the puffs and rolls of
their natural hair.
- To catch or kill rats.
- One who deserts his party or associates;
hence, in the trades, one who works for lower wages than those
prescribed by a trades union.