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

  • Informal An indoor television antenna consisting of two usually adjustable rods connected to a base and swiveling apart at a V-shaped angle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An indoor dipole television antenna consisting of two usually extensible rods connected to a base to form a V shape.
  • n. Plural form of rabbit ear.

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

  • n. an indoor TV antenna; consists of two extendible rods that form a V
  • n. the long ears of a rabbit


From the shape of the ears of a rabbit. (Wiktionary)


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  • The most common dipole antenna is the "rabbit ears" type used with televisions. While theoretically the dipole elements should be along the same line, "rabbit ears" are adjustable in length and angle.

    A dipole antenna, developed by Heinrich Rudolph Hertz around 1886, is an antenna with a center-fed driven element for transmitting or receiving radio frequency energy. These antennas are the simplest practical antennas from a theoretical point of view.


    In the days before cable television rabbit ears sat on top of the TV to help reception. They usually had a small round or oval shaped plastic base that had two long metal wands that could be adjusted projecting up from the base.

    February 3, 2008