Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that catches or kills rats.
  • noun Slang One who betrays or deserts another.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who rats, or becomes a renegade; also, a workman who renders himself obnoxious to a trades-union. See ratting, 2.
  • noun One who catches rats; a rat-catcher.
  • noun An animal which catches rats, as a terrier.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who, or that which, rats, as one who deserts his party.
  • noun Anything which catches rats; esp., a dog trained to catch rats; a rat terrier. See Terrier.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Anything which catches rats, especially a dog trained to catch them; a rat terrier.
  • noun One who rats; a traitor; a deserter.

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

  • noun any of several breeds of terrier developed to catch rats
  • noun a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

rat +‎ -er

Examples

  • "ratter" -- superstitious Tudor sailors did not have cats on board as they were thought to bring bad luck.

    Reuters: Top News

  • In the Central and South American countries this snake is highly valued as a "ratter" and frequents human habitations without fear.

    Pathfinder or, The Missing Tenderfoot

  • June 26th, 2009 9: 51 pm ET call your senators tell them too vote no on this bill. this bill is bad for the economy raise the price of goods and ship manafactureing job overseas. i can't beleive how every news station is burying it. it seem they forgot howtoo stand up too make this country great, but ratter kiss polical butt

    Climate bill's hot talk

  • On another tour, Cecil and Constance stayed at a boardinghouse run by a woman who kept a python as a ratter.

    Empire of Dreams

  • As for rats, they are far too big for your average cat: best to call in a good ratter like a Parson Jack Russell Terrier which can clear a whole Dutch Barn of rats in two shakes of a cat's tail.

    Archive 2007-07-29

  • As for rats, they are far too big for your average cat: best to call in a good ratter like a Parson Jack Russell Terrier which can clear a whole Dutch Barn of rats in two shakes of a cat's tail.

    Can Your Cat Do This?

  • For the present, the German ratter has trounced its Irish doppelganger.

    Dog days for British breeds

  • More prosaically, a ratter out could get a one-way ticket back to his home country plus a big fat check financed through employer fines.

    Matthew Yglesias » Enforcement

  • I had wanted a cat for a long time, having grown up with one, and now we really needed a ratter.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Cat

  • I had wanted a cat for a long time, having grown up with one, and now we really needed a ratter.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Cat

Comments

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  • certain breeds of dogs were breed to root out rats hence the term 'ratter'

    July 13, 2009