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1. slang A despicable, contemptible, and untrustworthy person. Her ex-husband turned out to be a real rat. I'm so glad she divorced him when she did.
2. slang Someone who provides confidential and damaging information to another person or group; an informant. The boss thinks we've got a rat in our ranks telling the police about our movements.
3. slang Someone who spends an inordinate amount of time at some particular recreational location. Used in combinations. I turned into a real gym rat during college. I go pretty much every day now. She has always been a rink rat, ever since she was a kid, so it's no surprise to me that she ended up playing ice hockey professionally.
4. slang Someone who continues working or is brought in to work during a strike; a scab. The company hired a bunch of rats from out of state to work the mines while we were on strike. After he crossed the picket line in '78, Tom was labeled a rat among his coworkers for the rest of his career.
An exclamation of frustration, disappointment, or vexation. Oh, rats—I dropped another screw. A: "Sorry, I won't be able to come this Saturday." B: "Rats! OK, we'll try to get together some other time."
See also: rat
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
exclam. Oh, damn! Rats! I broke a nail!
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.