Definitions

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

  • n. One that catches or kills rats: Many terriers are good ratters.
  • n. Slang One who betrays or deserts another.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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

Etymologies

rat +‎ -er (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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

    July 13, 2009