Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cut or groove along or near the edge of a piece of wood that allows another piece to fit into it to form a joint.
  • n. A joint so made.
  • transitive v. To cut a rabbet in.
  • transitive v. To join by a rabbet.
  • intransitive v. To be joined by a rabbet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A longitudinal channel, groove, or recess cut out of the edge or face of a plank of wood or other material; especially, one intended to fit another member to form a joint.
  • v. To cut a rabbet in a piece of material.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A longitudinal channel, groove, or recess cut out of the edge or face of any body; especially, one intended to receive another member, so as to break or cover the joint, or more easily to hold the members in place; thus, the groove cut for a panel, for a pane of glass, or for a door, is a rabbet, or rebate.
  • n. Same as Rabbet joint, below.
  • transitive v. To cut a rabbet in; to furnish with a rabbet.
  • transitive v. To unite the edges of, as boards, etc., in a rabbet joint.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cut the edge of (a board) so that it will overlap that of the next piece, which is similarly cut out, and will form a close joint with this adjoining board; cut or form a rabbet in (a board or piece of timber). See rabbet, n.
  • n. A cut made on the edge of a board so that it may join by lapping with another board similarly cut; also, a rectangular recess, channel, or groove cut along the edge of a board or the like to receive a corresponding projection cut on the edge of another board, etc., required to fit into it. Rabbets are common in paneling. See also cut under match-joint.
  • n. Same as rabbet-plane.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cut a rectangular groove into
  • n. a rectangular groove made to hold two pieces together
  • v. join with a rabbet joint

Etymologies

Middle English rabet, from Old French rabat, recess in a wall, act of beating down, from rabattre, to beat down again; see rebate1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • "A longitudinal channel, groove, or recess cut out of the edge or face of any body; especially, one intended to receive another member..."

    August 26, 2012

  • Also see rebate.

    September 19, 2011

  • See another usage on garboard-streak.

    October 13, 2008

  • "Franz Fieber attached a long masonry bit to a drill. Bored a hole. Guided a dentist's mirror and two small forceps attached to a rod through a hole. He snipped. Attached a diamond blade to a small battery-driven angle grinder. Placed it against the door hinges. The disc went through the tough steel as if it were butter. The African caught the heavy door as it slid out of the rabbet."
    - 'The Quiet Girl', Peter Høeg.

    March 19, 2008

  • "...he and Mr Hadley were particularly proud of this elegant stern; but his enthusiasm led him to go on rather long, and in too great detail about the rabbets and the cant-frames."
    —Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, 23–24

    March 6, 2008