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definition of the word rat

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From Old English ræt, probably from Vulgar Latin *rattus.



rat (plural rats)

  1. (zoology) Any of about 56 different species of small, omnivorous rodents belonging to the genus Rattus.
  2. (informal) A term indiscriminately applied to numerous members of several rodent families (e.g. voles and mice) having bodies longer than about 12 cm, or 5 inches.
  3. (informal) A person who is known for betrayal; a scoundrel.
    What a rat, leaving us stranded here!
  4. (informal) An informant or snitch
  5. (slang) A person who routinely spends time at a particular location.
    Our teenager has become a mall rat.
    He loved hockey and was a devoted rink rat.
  6. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) A promiscuous person - often a young female - who attends sporting and other entertainment events, primarily to seek sexual liaisons with athletes, entertainers and/or others traveling with them; a groupie.
  7. Informer.
  8. Scab

Definition from Wiktionary
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