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Rat   /ræt/   Listen
Rat

noun
1.
Any of various long-tailed rodents similar to but larger than a mouse.
2.
Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike.  Synonyms: blackleg, scab, strikebreaker.
3.
A person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible.  Synonyms: bum, crumb, dirty dog, git, lowlife, puke, rotter, scum bag, skunk, so-and-so, stinker, stinkpot.  "Kill the rat" , "Throw the bum out" , "You cowardly little pukes!" , "The British call a contemptible person a 'git'"
4.
One who reveals confidential information in return for money.  Synonyms: betrayer, blabber, informer, squealer.
5.
A pad (usually made of hair) worn as part of a woman's coiffure.



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"Rat" Quotes from Famous Books



... one morning with a 22-calibre rifle. He had shot one after another and seen them drop from sight into the crannies of the lumber-pile, when the old Cat came running along the wall from the dock, carrying a small Wharf Rat. He had been ready to shoot her, too, but the sight of that Rat changed his plans: a rat-catching Cat was worthy to live. It happened to be the very first one she had ever caught, but it saved her life. She threaded the lumber-maze to the cracker-box and ...
— Animal Heroes • Ernest Thompson Seton

... Street, bowing to others of the committee on their way to the town-hall, a structure of parti-coloured brick in harlequin patterns, with a peaked roof, all over little sham domes, which went far to justify its title of the Rat-house, since nothing larger could well use them. The facade was thus somewhat imposing; of the rear the less said the better; and as to the interior, it was at present one expanse of dust, impeded by scaffold-poles, ...
— The Three Brides • Charlotte M. Yonge

... in this manner, they were obliged to fly; and they retreated with the loss of a great part of their forces. Sethon, when he returned home, ordered a statue of himself to be set up in the temple of Vulcan, holding in his right hand a rat, and these words to be inscribed thereon:—LET THE MAN WHO BEHOLDS ME LEARN ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... if I don't give my name, ma'am. My false friend, the rat, got me into a sad scrape once; and Rowley insists upon it that a duck destroyed me, which is all ...
— Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag VI - An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, Etc. • Louisa M. Alcott

... Dubrovnik, Dugi Rat, Omisalj, Ploce, Pula, Rijeka, Sibenik, Split, Vukovar (inland waterway ...
— The 2004 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... very same night as they lay on the mat, What should come rushing in but a great big rat; Up jumped Mr. Ponto and gave a loud bark, And that rat scampered off ...
— Cole's Funny Picture Book No. 1 • Edward William Cole

... of a conspiracy against us. I was going west the other morning when I heard a crier announcing a general war upon Stone Boy and his people. The crier was a Buffalo, going at full speed from west to east. Again, I heard the Beaver conversing with the Musk-rat, and both said that their services were already promised to overflow the lakes and rivers and cause a destructive flood. I heard, also, the little Swallow holding a secret council with all the birds of the air. He said that he had been appointed ...
— Indian Boyhood • [AKA Ohiyesa], Charles A. Eastman

... hands and form a circle. One is chosen "rat" and stands inside the circle. Another is the "cat" and takes her place outside. The "cat" tries to catch the "rat". The players favor the "rat" and allow him to run in and out of the circle, but try to prevent the ...
— Games and Play for School Morale - A Course of Graded Games for School and Community Recreation • Various

... Mrs. O'Brien favoured the match as soon as Dry Valley's intentions were disclosed. Being the mother of a woman child, and therefore a charter member of the Ancient Order of the Rat-trap, she joyfully decked out Panchita for the sacrifice. The girl was temporarily dazzled by having her dresses lengthened and her hair piled up on her head, and came near forgetting that she was only a slice of cheese. It was nice, too, to have as good a match as Mr. Johnson paying ...
— Heart of the West • O. Henry

... the intruder produced a revolver and levelled it at Carmichael. Caught like a rat in a trap, the latter, after a moment's hesitation, handed over the despatches and leaned back with ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 28, 1914 • Various

... they say, Was haunted with a jolly ghost, that shook The curtains, whined in lobbies, tapt at doors, And rummaged like a rat: no servant stayed: The farmer, vext, packs up his beds and chairs, And all his household stuff, and with his boy Betwixt his knees, his wife upon the tilt, Sets out, and meets a friend who hails him, 'What! ...
— Fairy Tales; Their Origin and Meaning • John Thackray Bunce

... of trade.' 30 The captive cat, with piteous mews, For pardon, life, and freedom sues: 'A sister of the science spare; One interest is our common care.' 'What insolence!' the man replied; 'Shall cats with us the game divide? Were all your interloping band Extinguished, of expelled the land, We rat-catchers might raise our fees, Sole guardians of a nation's cheese!' 40 A cat, who saw the lifted knife, Thus spoke, and saved her sister's life: 'In every age and clime we see, Two of a trade can ne'er agree. Each hates his neighbour for encroaching; Squire ...
— The Poetical Works of Addison; Gay's Fables; and Somerville's Chase • Joseph Addison, John Gay, William Sommerville

... that their mother had caught a nice fat rat, and instead of eating it all herself, as Mr. Gander did the frog, she brought it to her kittens. Now there was plenty of meat for both, and neither could have devoured the whole of it, yet those two youngsters stood there and snarled, and spit, and ...
— The Gray Goose's Story • Amy Prentice

... rain, summoned a kind of little, white, wooden sarcophagus which was skipping near us on the waves, sculled by two yellow boys stark naked in the rain. The craft approached us, I jumped into it, then through a little trap-door shaped like a rat-trap that one of the scullers threw open for me, I slipped in and stretched myself at full length on a mat in what is called ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... Saxon style with narrow holes, scorpions, and large square gratings over narrow loopholes. There was no window on it, but here and there slits, old embrasures of pierriers and archegayes. At the foot of this high wall was seen, like the hole at the bottom of a rat-trap, a little wicket gate, very elliptical in ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... to the knowledge of the entire Rue Saint Jacques, a gambler and a drunkard and, in all likelihood, a thief. But you prefer, it appears, the Montignys to me. An ill cat seeks an ill rat. Very heartily do I wish you joy of them. You will not promise? ...
— The Line of Love - Dizain des Mariages • James Branch Cabell

... danced and Polly squealed, while the rotund lady managed to step on young Back Bay's toes and almost forgot to "beg pardon," but Mr. Possum hung on by his long rat-tail ...
— Andrew the Glad • Maria Thompson Daviess

... "foul play" roused the lion in Lincoln. He hated unfairness, and at once resented it. He suddenly put forth his Samson-like strength, grabbed the champion of the Clary Grove Boys by the throat, and, lifting him from the ground, held him at arm's length and shook him as a dog shakes a rat. Then he flung him to the ground, and, facing the amazed and yelling crowd, he cried: "You cowards! You know I don't want to fight; but if you try any such games, I'll tackle the whole lot of you. ...
— Heroes Every Child Should Know • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... and had known him for years. There were few old-timers in that section of the city who did not know Jim Farland. The man who faced the detective now was small, stoop-shouldered, a sort of a rat of a man who had considerably more money to his credit than his appearance indicated, and who was not eager to have the world in general know how he ...
— The Brand of Silence - A Detective Story • Harrington Strong

... and put a few drops of rhodium inside; they are fond of it. Cats are, however, the most reliable rat-traps. There is no difficulty in poisoning rats, but they often die in the walls, and create a dreadful odor, hard to get rid of. When poisoning is attempted, remove or cover all water vessels, even the ...
— Practical Suggestions for Mother and Housewife • Marion Mills Miller

... pin, like a malefactor from his gibbet. From amongst these cloaks, and behind that curtain, the Nun was said to issue. I did not believe this, nor was I troubled by apprehension thereof; but I saw a very dark and large rat, with a long tail, come gliding out from that squalid alcove; and, moreover, my eye fell on many a black-beetle, dotting the floor. These objects discomposed me more, perhaps, than it would be wise to say, as also did the dust, lumber, and stifling heat of the place. The last inconvenience ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... look at her whenever it's possible, and I don't want her to know it. It would worry her. It might—frighten her, Simmy, and God knows I wouldn't harm her by word or deed for anything on earth. Only she wouldn't understand. D'you see?" He shook Simmy as a dog would have shaken a rat, not in anger ...
— From the Housetops • George Barr McCutcheon

... creak of the garden-gate, as he waited for the last post. When at length a step was heard crunching on the gravel, he rushed from the room, and Mrs. Cohn heard the hall-door open. Her ear, disappointed of the rat-tat, morbidly followed every sound; but it seemed a long time before her boy's returning footstep reached her. The strange, slow drag of it worked upon her nerves, and her heart grew sick ...
— Ghetto Comedies • Israel Zangwill

... horse again spoke to the boy, and said: "Wa-ti-hes Chah-ra-rat-wa-ta." To-morrow the Sioux are coming in a large war-party. They will attack the village, and you will have a great battle. Now, when the Sioux are drawn up in line of battle, and are all ready to fight, ...
— The Great Salt Lake Trail • Colonel Henry Inman

... goes to keepin' books fur a whisky house in Loueyville, 'n' he holds the job down steady fur twenty years. The only time he quits pen-pushin' is when they race at Churchill Downs. From the first minute the meetin' opens till get-away day comes he's bright eyes at the rat hole. He don't add up no figgers fur nobody then. He just putters around the track. He's doped out as sort-a ...
— Blister Jones • John Taintor Foote

... without a word. Sometimes horrible barkings would be heard and the man would not come up again. Three phalangites, in the fourth dilochia of the twelfth syntagmata, killed one another with knives in a dispute about a rat. ...
— Salammbo • Gustave Flaubert

... medicine has a sort of credit about it; so far at least it is clear that you are not professional, and to that extent the chances are narrowed that you get your bread out of the public pocket. To be sure, it is still possible that you may be a stay-maker, or a rat-catcher. But these are out-of-the-way vocations, and nobody adverts to such narrow possibilities. Now, on the other hand, to be a connoisseur in painting or in sculpture, supposing always that you are no practising artist, in other words, supposing ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. II (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... tat! Rat, tat, tat! went the drum on the parade ground, and soon the three companies which comprised the Putnam Hall Battalion were duly assembled, with Major Larry Colby in command of the whole, and Dick at the head of Company A, Fred Garrison at ...
— The Rover Boys on the River - The Search for the Missing Houseboat • Arthur Winfield

... and at this time, writing over to Bolingbroke from Ireland, he says, "It is time for me to have done with the world, and so I would if I could get into a better before I was called into the best, and not die here in a rage, like a poisoned rat in a hole." ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... still, with dew a-falling, I saw the Dog Star bleak and grim, I saw a slim brown rat ...
— Collected Poems 1901-1918 in Two Volumes - Volume II. • Walter de la Mare

... large, and fat of body. We found the whole country to be a warren of a strange kind of coneys; their bodies in bigness as be the Barbary coneys, their heads as the heads of ours, the feet of a want [mole], and the tail of a rat, being of great length. Under her chin is on either side a bag, into the which she gathereth her meat, when she hath filled her belly abroad. The people eat their bodies, and make great account of their skins, for their king's coat was made of ...
— Sir Francis Drake's Famous Voyage Round the World • Francis Pretty

... has that yellow Satan," he said. "I would sacrifice a year of my life to see his rat's body on ...
— The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... over to Sausalito; consequently the launchman she hired couldn't find it down in Mission Bay, and back to the beach she came. After a couple of days had passed, however, she commenced to smell a rat, so she came down to my office and asked me if I'd seen ...
— Cappy Ricks Retires • Peter B. Kyne

... vulgar make images, and adore them, which is absurd; for adoration is the homage due from a creature to its creator; now here man is the creator; so the statues ought to worship him, and would, if they had brains enough to justify a rat in worshipping them. But even this abuse, though childish enough to be modern, is ancient. The pagan vulgar in these parts made their images, then knelt before them, adorned them with flowers, offered incense to them, lighted tapers before them, carried them in procession, ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade

... off. He was not by any means a physical coward, and possessed a good deal of the cornered kind of courage of the fighting rat. Dodge's first two or three blows were neatly parried. Then he began to mix it up in a lively way, and three heavy blows landed on Dick's body. But Dodge didn't get back out of it unscathed. One hard thump on his ...
— Dick Prescott's Second Year at West Point - Finding the Glory of the Soldier's Life • H. Irving Hancock

... with her, but the moment that Mrs. O'Brien came into the house he would get as far away from her as he could, and then lie perfectly still and watch her, for all the world, as John said once, like a rat in a trap watching a cat. Ellen said that it was because he always remembered that it was Mrs. O'Brien who had dropped him once. To this John replied: "Then maybe he'ld be making you less trouble, Ellen, if you was to drop him yourself once or twice." But Mrs. O'Brien said that ...
— Fairies and Folk of Ireland • William Henry Frost

... disbelieve my stories, you think it well to be sceptical yourselves. I don't care, however, whether you believe me or not. The fact remains that I have eaten one fried pyramid and countless stewed icicles, and the stewed icicles were finer than any diamond-back rat Confucius ever had served at ...
— A House-Boat on the Styx • John Kendrick Bangs

... and our hearts were gay as we gazed on the gorgeous scene; And we laughed with glee as we caught the flea of the wolf and the wolverine; Yea, our hearts were light as the parasite of the ermine rat we slew, And the great musk ox, and the silver fox, and the moose and the caribou. And we laughed with zest as the insect pest of the marmot crowned our zeal, And the wary mink and the wily "link", and the walrus and the seal. And with eyes aglow on the scornful snow we danced a rigadoon, ...
— Ballads of a Bohemian • Robert W. Service

... countenance—I could point it out, but it is difficult to describe upon paper. It should be mild, serene, and expressive. The animal should be fine in the bone, with clean muzzle, a tail like a rat's, and not ewe-necked; short on the legs. He should have a small well-put-on head, prominent eye, a skin not too thick nor too thin; should be covered with fine silky hair—to the touch like a lady's glove; should have a good belly to hold his meat; should be straight-backed, ...
— Cattle and Cattle-breeders • William M'Combie

... years. M'lissy makes the best doughnuts I ever e't, an' I calculated we'd be married sometime, though I ain't never mentioned it special. But when I went to call on M'lissy this afternoon, there set Tom Peters in the big rockin' chair holdin' M'lissy's yeller cat an' lookin' as cheerful as a rat in a shipload of cheese. It come over me all at once what a marryin' critter he is. The old punkin'-head's had two wives already, ...
— Cape Cod and All the Pilgrim Land, June 1922, Volume 6, Number 4 • Various

... DISEASES. The coffee tree, its wood, foliage, and fruit, have their enemies, chief among which are insects, fungi, rodents (the "coffee rat"), birds, squirrels, and—according to Rossignon—elephants, buffalo, and native cattle, which have a special liking for the tender leaves of the coffee plant. Insects and fungi are the most bothersome pests on most plantations. Among the ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... If ye go, I guess it'll be aboard a liner, where ye'll be penned up like a rat in a trap. That's the way people travel these days, 'in luxury,' they call it. But give me my old Flyin' Queen, a strong breeze abeam, and ye kin have all yer iron or steel tubs ...
— Rod of the Lone Patrol • H. A. Cody

... After a little wandering about among ash-bins and apple-bins, reservoirs and coal-heaps and cobwebs, she discovers the hanging-shelf which has been the ignis fatuus of her search. Something extremely cold crossing her shoeless feet at this crisis suggests pleasant fancies of a rat. Keturah is ashamed to confess that she has never in all the days of the years of her pilgrimage set eyes upon a rat. Depending solely upon her imagination, her conception of that animal is a cross between ...
— Men, Women, and Ghosts • Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

... myself, 'drop those things at once!' and I made for him with my fist. He dodged me. I ran after him; but he threaded his way like a rat through the statues and cases of antiquities, and bolted down the passage out of the door, where he upset Monteagle and the lantern, and disappeared in the darkness and rain. I then returned to the scene of his labours. Monteagle was too frightened, owing to the rather ghostly ...
— Masques & Phases • Robert Ross

... protection, for, instead of bolting into the undergrowth, he raced around and around in a circle, and then inside this tent and that, so that it was laughable to watch him popping in and out like a terrified rat. And Malamalama, so overcome with gin that he could barely see, fired and fired and fired from the four boxes of his cartridges. Then, when all was finished, he rose and went home, while the children crowded the line and shouted, "Professor ...
— Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas • Lloyd Osbourne

... there was as great an outcry as if they were trying to bring down the walls of Jericho a second time. Some boys even flung at me everything they could find in the mire of the streets. The most delightful articles! There was actually a dead rat! I can see its tail flying now! Our village lads know how to aim better. Before the worst came, by the advice of the equerry and our wise chaplain, whom I consulted, we had done what was necessary, and summoned the guard at the Frauenthor to our ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... him by the collar of his coat and the seat of his breeches, and shook him as a mastiff would a rat. ...
— The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent • S.M. Hussey

... damned if I know what for. For money,—just money stewin' in its own juice in a bank,—not money I can use. Well, everybody's trained so, I'm thinkin'. Anyway I took it friendly of you to put it so delicate, so fanciful as you did, so as them charity ladies didn't smell a rat. I appreciated that, an' thought the more of what you said. I'm ...
— Living Alone • Stella Benson

... When Mrs. Rat saw Miss Kitty Cat washing her face, she knew it meant rain. And she wouldn't let her husband leave home ...
— The Tale of Benny Badger • Arthur Scott Bailey

... scarce finished my breakfast the next morning when I heard a loud rat-tat-tat upon the street door-surely the footman of some person of consequence. And Scipio was in the act of announcing the names when, greatly to his disgust, the visitors themselves rushed into my bedroom and curtailed the ceremony. They were none other than Dr. Courtenay and my Lord Comyn ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... property. Still, in spite of all that could be done, matters were rapidly coming to a terrible pass. In a week, at the latest, the horses of the cavalry would be eaten. For a fortnight London had almost lived upon horse-flesh. In the poorer quarters there was not a dog to be seen, and a sewer rat was considered a delicacy. ...
— The Angel of the Revolution - A Tale of the Coming Terror • George Griffith

... now the pet of the house, and the canary bird, and the yeast, and look in the vinegar barrel to see that all was right, and be sure and scald the milk-pans, and turn them up in the sun for an hour, and keep the doors locked, and the silver up in the scuttle-hole; and if she heard the rat which baffled and tormented them so long, get some poison and kill it, but not on any account let it get in the cistern; and keep the door-steps clean, and the stoop, and once in a while sweep the low roof at the back of the house, and not sit up late nights, or sleep very long in the morning; and ...
— Ethelyn's Mistake • Mary Jane Holmes

... leopardess, the liver of a forest rat, the tongue of a Baroto bird—these must I have to mix with thy blood to be drunk by thy man ...
— Witch-Doctors • Charles Beadle

... he often suffered, and the persistent tertian fevers, he was very thin and his complexion was citreous. He was not, like his father, deformed, but slender, delicate, with sparkling eyes and rapid, jerky motions. He looked, as the saying is, like a rat ...
— The Quest • Pio Baroja

... expectancy at once. But he was only a rudimentary human being, and his brain power had slept so far. I showed him Caldecott's wonderful "House that Jack Built," and he gloated over that delightful villain of a dog; the cat and the rat he understood, but he knew nothing of the cow. I let him stare at the dog as long as he chose, and he chuckled like a magpie all the time. He proposed to remove the picture-book, and it was only with difficulty that I persuaded him to ...
— The Chequers - Being the Natural History of a Public-House, Set Forth in - a Loafer's Diary • James Runciman

... come, honey," said Uncle Remus, in a soothing tone, "I'll des snatch down yo' pa buggy umbrell' fum up dar in de cornder, des lak I bin a-doin', en I'll take'n take you und' my arm en set you down on Miss Sally h'a'th des ez dry en ez wom ez a rat'-nes' inside ...
— Nights With Uncle Remus - Myths and Legends of the Old Plantation • Joel Chandler Harris

... comes to me of a bunk-house on an Arizona range. The time was evening. A half-dozen cowboys were sprawled out on the beds smoking, and three more were playing poker with the Chinese cook. A misguided rat darted out from under one of the beds and made for the empty fireplace. He finished his journey in smoke. Then the four who had shot slipped their guns back into their holsters and resumed their ...
— The Mountains • Stewart Edward White

... turned furiously on the Tracer. "You lie, you old gray rat!" he cried. "That ain't no mummy; that's a plain dead girl! And there ain't no extrydition for body snatchin', so I guess them niggers at Cairo won't ...
— The Tracer of Lost Persons • Robert W. Chambers

... great business of the day, especially in small sailing vessels like the "Black Hawk;" although anything is good enough for me when I can't get nothin' better, which is the true philosophy of life. If there is a good dish and a bad one set before me, I am something of a rat, I always choose ...
— Nature and Human Nature • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... years, yet little had been added to the stock of natural history which had been acquired in the first year or two of its infancy. The Kangaroo, the Dog, the Opossum, the Flying Squirrel, the Kangaroo Rat, a spotted Rat, the common Rat, and the large Fox-bat (if entitled to a place in this society), made up the whole catalogue of animals that were known at this time, with the exception which must now be made of an ...
— An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 2 • David Collins

... upon them, and afterwards could be seen trickling down the stems beneath and silently entering the ground. The surface of the mill-pond leapt up in a thousand spirts under the same downfall, and clucked like a hen in the rat-holes along the banks as it undulated under the wind. The only dry spot visible from the front windows of the mill-house was the inside of a small shed, on the opposite side of the courtyard. While Mrs. Loveday was noticing the threads of rain descending ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... grand- mother commented. "It's servants'-hall talk and cottage gossip, and plenty made itself up out o' beer drunk in th' tap-room at th' Wool Park. In a place where naught much happens, people get into th' way 'o springin' on a bit o' news, and shakin' and worryin' it like a terrier does a rat. It's nature. That lad's given 'em lots to talk about ever since he coom. He's been a blessin' to 'em. If he'd been gentry, he'd not ha' been nigh as lively. Th' village lads tries to talk through their ...
— T. Tembarom • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... shall find The superior powers of woman, both in body and in mind. She shall teach us how to study, how to ride, and run, and row; How to box and play at cricket; how the heavy weight to throw; How to shoot the trembling pigeon; how the wily rat to slay; How at football and at racquets; how at whist and chess to play; How to drive the rapid tandem; how to jump, and how to walk; (For young women, trust me, Clio, can do something more than talk) How to ...
— Sagittulae, Random Verses • E. W. Bowling

... little squeal it drove its big yellow teeth into me behind. Oh! how they hurt! I was near the rat-hole. I rushed at it, scrabbling and wriggling. The big rabbit pounced on me with its fore-feet, trying to hold me, but too late, for I was through, leaving some of my fur behind me. I ran, how I ran! without stopping, till at length I found my mother in the ...
— The Mahatma and the Hare • H. Rider Haggard

... arrangement. Finally the result in which I landed, and which fulfilled all the conditions laid down was this:—Let me premise, however, what at any rate the existing darkness attests, that some disturbance of the text must in some way have arisen; whether from the gnawing of a rat, or the spilling of some obliterating fluid at this point of some critical or unique MS. It is sufficient for us that the vital word has survived. I suppose, therefore, that Lamia had replied to the friend who praised the sweetness of his voice, ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... you on your way to heaven, you had only to recite this verse, and the serpent would be powerless to harm you: "Hail, thou serpent Rerek! advance not hither. Stand still now, and thou shalt eat the rat which is an abomination unto Ra (the Sun-God), and thou shalt crunch the bones ...
— Peeps at Many Lands: Ancient Egypt • James Baikie

... prevented his noticing the rustle and stir of a new-comer who had crowded up behind him, until he caught the wondering glances of those in front and saw that the Israelite was staring past him, his money forgotten, his eyes beady and sharp, his rat-like teeth showing in a grin of admiration. Swede Sam glared from under his unkempt shock and felt uncertainly towards the open collar of his flannel shirt where a kerchief should have been. The men who were standing gazed at ...
— The Spoilers • Rex Beach

... civilisation. A fable will best explain what is meant. Let the scene be the Zoological Gardens in the quiet hours of the night, and suppose that, as in old fables, the animals are able to converse, and that some very wise creature who had easy access to all the cages, say a philosophic sparrow or rat, was engaged in collecting the opinions of all sorts of animals with a view of elaborating a system of absolute morality. It is needless to enlarge on the contrariety of ideals between the beasts that prey and those they prey upon, between those of the animals that have to ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... world. It was impossible to tell what it had originally been constructed of. Generations of attackers had bruised, broken, and undermined it. Repairs had been quickly made, patches thrust roughly into place and fixed there. Crude masonry crumbled and gave way to a rat's nest of woven timbers. This overlapped a length of pitted metal, large plates riveted together. Even this metal had been eaten through and bursting sandbags spilled out of a jagged hole. Over the surface of the wall detector wires ...
— Deathworld • Harry Harrison

... to this sentiment, read La Fontaine's fable of "The Rat and the Elephant." La Fontaine fully comprehended its social and psychological bearing. "To believe one's self an important personage is very common in France.... A childish vanity is peculiar to us. The Spaniards are vain, but in another way. It is ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 5 (of 6) - The Modern Regime, Volume 1 (of 2)(Napoleon I.) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... this. Thou art not yet the man that shall hold fast the devil! Still cheat his senses with your magic revel, Drown him in dreams of endless youth; But this charm-mountain on the sill to level, I need, O rat, thy pointed tooth! Nor need I conjure long, they're near me, E'en now comes scampering one, who presently will ...
— Faust • Goethe

... a load of the white man's grass that has a tail like a rat; and give him also some of the long white seed, a pile as high as a man's knees, so that the pony might eat and be ...
— The Preacher of Cedar Mountain - A Tale of the Open Country • Ernest Thompson Seton

... Elma lived. By dint of asking half a dozen children and three or four policemen she at last reached Constantine Road, and presently found the right house. She ran up the steps and sounded a rattling rat-tat on the knocker. The moment she did so a girl with a mop of untidy red hair peeped up at ...
— Wild Kitty • L. T. Meade

... not, Ellen—would you? I'd rather err on the safe side, seems to me. Do let's be polite, at least! Yes, I'll knock," and a timid rat-tat-tat, made by a small kid-covered knuckle, announced the first visit of the present owner of the great ...
— Joyce's Investments - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... dames ensues a meeting, the nature of which may be guessed, the whole trouble lying in the fact that neither thinks it necessary to name the article under dispute. No wonder that discussion under the disadvantage of so great a misunderstanding ends in violence. Doctor Rat, the curate, is now called in; but again Diccon is equal to the occasion. Having warned Dame Chat that Hodge, to balance the matter of the cock, is about to creep in through a breach in the wall and kill her chickens, he persuades Doctor Rat that if he will creep through this same opening ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

... very low rate of interest. For a few weeks he had let it lie idle; then he had appropriated it, and step by step his creditor had increased his demands up to a bill of exchange and a usurious rate of interest. And now the vagabond grew insolent. Was he like the rat who foresees the sinking of the ship, and tries to escape from it? The baron laughed so as to make Lenore shudder; why, he was not the man to fall resistless into the hands of his adversary; the next day would bring help. Ehrenthal could never ...
— Debit and Credit - Translated from the German of Gustav Freytag • Gustav Freytag

... together. How often has many a tired old man envied the superannuated family cat, stretched upon the rug before the fire, letting the genial warmth tranquilly diffuse itself through all her internal arrangements! No more watching for mice in dark, damp cellars, no more awaiting the savage gray rat at the mouth of his den, no more scurrying up trees and lamp-posts to avoid the neighbor's cur who wishes to make her acquaintance! It is very grand to "die in harness," but it is very pleasant to have the ...
— Over the Teacups • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... of the house might be rat-ridden and desolate. The coulee might wear always the look of emptiness; but here, under the bluff by the spring, and in the room Jean called hers, one felt the air of occupancy that gave the lie ...
— Jean of the Lazy A • B. M. Bower

... stable he was as wet as a "drowned rat," but he looked well satisfied, and the old trainer, after he had talked with him a few ...
— Bred In The Bone - 1908 • Thomas Nelson Page

... to the great ladder of animal life, beginning low down in molluscs and feeble sea creatures, then up rung by rung through reptiles and fishes, till at last we came to a kangaroo-rat, a creature which brought forth its young alive, the direct ancestor of all mammals, and presumably, therefore, of everyone in the audience. ("No, no," from a sceptical student in the back row.) If the young gentleman in the ...
— The Lost World • Arthur Conan Doyle

... fellow mostly bluffs when he's scared, or he's in a corner—like a rat. See? Now it's to my interest to see Fyles beat clean out of Rocky Springs. It's that set me gassin'. Get me? So just keep easy, and take what I got to hand out. I'm wise to the game. It's my business to keep wise. Those two crooks of yours, ...
— The Law-Breakers • Ridgwell Cullum

... Baba,[352] said to be a deified ghost of the aboriginal races, reappears as Goresvara and is counted a form of Siva, as is also Khandoba or Khande Rao, a deity connected with dogs. Ganesa, "the Lord of Hosts," the God who removes obstacles and is represented with an elephant's head and accompanied by a rat, is recognized as Siva's son. Another son is Skanda or Kartikeya, the God of War, a great deity in Ceylon and southern India. But more important both for the absorption of aboriginal cults and for its influence ...
— Hinduism And Buddhism, Volume II. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... ball he took up his feet and ran. The hard clash of the skates, the determined onrush of the broad-built, implacable figure, were terrible to withstand. What was to be done against a man who didn't skate, but tore, who fell upon a ball as a terrier plunges, eyeless and intent, into a rat-hole? The personal safety of himself or others never occurred to Winn. He remembered nothing but the rules of the game. These he held in the back of his mind, with the ball in ...
— The Dark Tower • Phyllis Bottome

... to calling inanimate or artificial things "creatures of God" is the personification of all sorts of things, animate and inanimate; thus, a rat is "an old man," a dipper is "a boy." Not infrequently the object or idea thus personified is given a title of respect; thus, "Corporal Black" is the night. Akin to personification is bold metaphor and association. In this there may or may not be some ...
— A Little Book of Filipino Riddles • Various

... for though there are changes there, that settle isn't one of them. It's his treasure case that's so altered. The snuff-box is gone, and the cigarette case and the piece of Bow china, and instead there's a rat-tail spoon which he used to have on his dinner-table, and made a great fuss with, and a bit of Worcester china that used to stand on the mantelpiece, and a different cigarette case, and a bead-bag. I don't know where that same from, but if he inherited it, he ...
— Queen Lucia • E. F. Benson

... You wonder what he could be doing in the hole of a poor legal rat like myself—eh? These awfully great people have their sentimental curiosities like common sinners. But if I were you, Kirylo Sidorovitch," he continued, leering and laying a peculiar emphasis ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... its daily march, faltering, staggering, blinded and buffeted by the incessant northeast winds, cruel, merciless, keen as knife-blades. Hope long since was dead; resolve wore thin under friction of disaster; like a rat, hunger gnawed at them hour after hour; the cold was one unending agony. Still Bennett was unbroken, still he urged them forward. For so long as they could move he would drive ...
— A Man's Woman • Frank Norris

... on another straw mattress, she could hear her husband breathing steadily. Then, upon the bare boards of the floor, which were but a few inches below her little cot-bed, she thought she heard the patter of small feet. A squirrel, perhaps, or, horrible to think of, it might be a rat. She was sure rats would eat straw beds, and her first impulse was to wake Mr. Archibald; but she hesitated, he was sleeping so soundly. Still she listened, and now she became almost certain that what she heard was not the patter of small ...
— The Associate Hermits • Frank R. Stockton

... bothered by fears of the supernatural, no matter what the old house was, or had been. Now, a good-sized rat might have made her ...
— Ruth Fielding and the Gypsies - The Missing Pearl Necklace • Alice B. Emerson

... in the same identical moment or bisection of a moment. Possibly his first little wolfish howl (for it would be monstrous to think that he or even Remus condescended to a vagitus or cry such as a young tailor or rat-catcher might emit) may have symphonized with the ear-shattering trumpet that proclaimed the inauguration of the first Olympic contest, or which blew to the four winds the appellation of the ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. II (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... punished him, cannot, will not punish me, who have done nothing." A strange sound attracted the young man's attention. He looked round him, and saw on the mantel-shelf, just below an enormous crucifix, coarsely painted in fresco on the wall, a rat of enormous size engaged in nibbling a piece of dry bread, but fixing all the time, an intelligent and inquiring look upon the new occupant of the cell. The king could not resist a sudden impulse of fear and disgust: he moved back towards the door, uttering a loud cry; and ...
— The Man in the Iron Mask • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... Ugly had paced off that way, that I need not see her from my window. I put the bars up again, and lay in wait behind the bushes. Soon I heard her approaching. I come forward as she comes near, on that rat-like pony of hers, who holds his head down as if searching for something lost in the road. I stand in doubt whether to laugh at her predicament, or advance in a gentlemanly manner to remove the obstacle I had put in her way. ...
— Autumn Leaves - Original Pieces in Prose and Verse • Various

... quarters,' said Mr. Puffington, who now smelt a rat; 'good quarters—nice girls—fine fortune—fine place, Jawleyford Court. Well, book me for the next visit,' added he. 'I will,' said Sponge, 'and no mistake. What ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... that the various domesticated forms have arisen. Such, for example, is the case in the rabbit, where most of the colour varieties are recessive to the wild agouti form. Such also is the case in the rat, where the black and albino varieties and the various pattern forms are also recessive to the wild agouti type. And with the exception of a certain yellow variety to which we shall refer later, such is also the case with the many fancy varieties ...
— Mendelism - Third Edition • Reginald Crundall Punnett

... rocks. The interest of all around is instantly centred on the lost cigar-holder. The Tommies begin to roll the rocks away, endangering the limbs of the men below them, and half the kopje is obliterated. They are as keen as terriers after a rat. The officers sit above and give advice and disagree as to where that cigar-holder hid itself. Over their heads, not twenty feet above, the shells chase each other fiercely. But the officers have become accustomed to shells; a search for ...
— Notes of a War Correspondent • Richard Harding Davis

... I'm the professor of musical glasses —tap, tap! ( Ahab to himself.) There's a sight! There's sound! The greyheaded woodpecker tapping the hollow tree! Blind and dumb might well be envied now. See! that thing rests on two line-tubs, full of tow-lines. A most malicious wag, that fellow. Rat-tat! So man's seconds tick! Oh! how immaterial are all materials! What things real are there, but imponderable thoughts? Here now's the very dreaded symbol of grim death, by a mere hap, made the expressive ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... you ought to catch on to it without being told: Unk's a stubborn old rat and he hasn't really a grain of sense, in spite of all the money he made. All you've got to do is to egg him on as if you thought it might be a little uncertain and then sort o' dare to make a big bet with him. I'll get busy ...
— Radio Boys Cronies • Wayne Whipple and S. F. Aaron

... to introduce Mr. Peter Bell to the respectable family of the Fudges. Although he may fall short of those very considerable personages in the more active properties which characterize the Rat and the Apostate, I suspect that even you, their historian, will confess that he surpasses them in the more peculiarly ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... Regina C[oe]li is constructed on the principle of a rat-trap. It is an oblong room divided into three compartments longitudinally, the partition walls being composed of wire and resembling cages. The middle compartment is occupied by the armed warder in ...
— The Eternal City • Hall Caine

... tolerable fineness, hardening them by exposure to a slow, steady degree of heat till she was able to work with them, and even mend her clothes with tolerable expertness. By degrees, Catharine contrived to cover the whole outer surface of her homespun woollen frock with squirrel and mink, musk-rat and woodchuck skins. A curious piece of fur patchwork of many hues and textures it presented to the eye,—a coat of many colours, it is true; but it kept the wearer warm, and Catharine was not a little proud of her ingenuity and industry,—every new patch that was added was a source of fresh ...
— Lost in the Backwoods • Catharine Parr Traill

... letters—a thing which took place constantly—he took a piece from the pile, wrapped it in the letter and sent it out by the servant. Money ran through his fingers. When he went to see Charles X. at Prague, and the king questioned him in reference to his affairs, his response was, "I am as poor as a rat." ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 11, No. 24, March, 1873 • Various

... height, with four very short legs, the feet armed with long claws of a brilliant scarlet, and resembling coral in substance. The body was covered with a straight silky hair, perfectly white. The tail was peaked like that of a rat, and about a foot and a half long. The head resembled a cat's, with the exception of the ears—these were flopped like the ears of a dog. The teeth were of the same brilliant scarlet as ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 3 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... discovered by my wise mentor to be "watch-eyed," "rat-tailed," with a swollen gland on the neck, would shy at a stone, stand on hind legs for a train, with various other minor defects. I grew fainthearted, discouraged, cynical, bitter. Was there no horse for me? I became town-talk as "a drefful fussy old ...
— Adopting An Abandoned Farm • Kate Sanborn

... at the top of his voice. Oliver understood the epithet, it meant that he wore clean linen, polished shoes, and perhaps, now and then, a pair of gloves. He had heard the same outcry in his own city, for the slang of the street-rat is Volapuk the world over. But he did not resent the assault. He was too tired to chase any boys, and too despondent to answer ...
— The Fortunes of Oliver Horn • F. Hopkinson Smith

... intended to have written for a week or more, for you have so many correspondents and are so punctual in reply that I fear the waste of precious time; but I am as pleased with your letter as an old dog- fancier when a terrier-pup catches his first rat—it is something to see my boy hunt out and hunt down that old ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke V1 • Stephen Gwynn

... us, and of an evening he had the run of the smoking room. After ten p.m. the 'open sesame' to our door was a rattle on the letter box and Louis' fancy for the mysterious was whetted by this admittance by secret sign, and we liked his special rat-a-tat for it was the forerunner of an hour or ...
— The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson for Boys and Girls • Jacqueline M. Overton

... Hilprecht, Babylonian Expedition, Series D, Vol. V, Fasc. 1, plate, Rev., l. 8; the photographic reproduction clearly shows, as Dr. Poebel suggests (Hist. Texts, p. 61 n 3), that the line should read: ((isu)elippu) si-i lu (isu)ma-gur-gur-ma sum-sa lu na-si-rat na-pis-tim, "That ship shall be a magurgurru (giant boat), and its name shall be 'Preserver of Life' (lit. 'She that ...
— Legends Of Babylon And Egypt - In Relation To Hebrew Tradition • Leonard W. King

... and I'm the professor of musical glasses —tap, tap! ( Ahab to himself.) There's a sight! There's sound! The greyheaded woodpecker tapping the hollow tree! Blind and dumb might well be envied now. See! that thing rests on two line-tubs, full of tow-lines. A most malicious wag, that fellow. Rat-tat! So man's seconds tick! Oh! how immaterial are all materials! What things real are there, but imponderable thoughts? Here now's the very dreaded symbol of grim death, by a mere hap, made the expressive sign of the help and hope ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... served's the rule things go by, so stir your stumps, an' put in the best licks you know how—an' may the devil take the hindmost. Hey there! that drummin' noise, it's stopped—wonder if they got out to the sloop or else smell a rat an' are lyin' low till they make it a dead certainty? Gosh, but ain't this all mighty thrillin' though, and how it does tickle me most to death," muttering which Perk, still listening, actually held his breath the better to catch any sound ...
— Eagles of the Sky - With Jack Ralston Along the Air Lanes • Ambrose Newcomb

... been held in check by fear of Shackleby, but there was some spirit in him, and, perhaps because he had injured Thurston, had always hated him. Now when his case seemed desperate, with the boldness of a rat driven into a corner, he determined to tear the ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... done afore. There was hardly a man as 'ud speak civil to each other, and the wimmen was a'most as bad. Cats and dogs and such-like began to act as if the place belonged to 'em, and seven people stopped Mr. Bunnett one day to tell 'im that Joe Parsons 'ad been putting down rat-poison and killed five little ...
— Ship's Company, The Entire Collection • W.W. Jacobs

... revenge. Might one not screw the neck of this base prince, who abuses the confidence of cavaliers so perfidiously? To die I care not; but to be caught in a trap, and die like a rat lured by a bait of toasted cheese—Faugh! my countly blood rebels ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... by brooks,—only 'in low wet places.' Buffon, however, takes it with the land-rail; Gould and Yarrell put it between the little crake and water-hen. Gould's description of it is by no means clear to me:—he first says it is, in action, as much "like a rat as a bird;" then that it "bounds like a ball," (before the nose of the spaniel); and lastly, in the next sentence, speaks of it as "this lath-like bird"! It is as large as a bantam, but can run, like the Allegretta, on floating leaves; ...
— Love's Meinie - Three Lectures on Greek and English Birds • John Ruskin

... not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve: ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I am peppered, I warrant, for this world.—A plague o' both your houses!—Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man to death! a braggart, a rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of arithmetic!—Why the devil came you between us? I was ...
— Romeo and Juliet • William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

... just finished making her pudding, and Poppy had that moment succeeded in inveigling Angela into the cupboard under the stairs and turning the key on her, when footsteps came up the path, a letter dropped in through the letter-box, and a postman's rat-tat sounded to the furthermost corner ...
— The Carroll Girls • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... fun and exercise is the way to begin if possible. A woman who has had all the fresh air and interesting exercise she needs, will shake off the first sign of morbid emotions as she would shake off a rat or any other vermin. ...
— Power Through Repose • Annie Payson Call

... and brought definite punishment; it was the hard-hearted, virtuous, ambitious, sensible boys, who were good-humoured and respectable and selfish, who bothered me; one wanted to shake them as a terrier shakes a rat—but there was nothing to get hold of. They were a credit to themselves and to their parents and to the school; and yet they ...
— The Child of the Dawn • Arthur Christopher Benson

... Cronje's surrender, after the three days' shelling of his laager at Paardeberg. Hence satisfaction, not only of victory but of compassion, since a sense of horror had weighed on the hearts of even the least sentimental at thought of the stubborn thousands, penned in that flaming rat-trap of the dry river-bed, ringed about by sun-baked rock and sand and death-belching guns. To-day came news of the relief of long-beleaguered Ladysmith, and London was shaken by emotion, under the bleak moisture-laden March ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... the foremen what wages these men and women received. He told me. It seemed impossible that human life could be maintained upon such a pittance. I then asked whether they ever ate meat. "No," he said, "except when they had a rat or mouse" "A rat or mouse!" I exclaimed. "Oh yes," he replied, "the rats and mice were important articles of diet,—just as they had been for centuries in China. The little children, not yet able to work, fished ...
— Caesar's Column • Ignatius Donnelly

... loathing to practice. As the latter necessary, if uninteresting, pursuit was left entirely to her own discretion—for no one ever dreamed of ordering Norah to the piano—it is small wonder if it suffered beside the superior attractions of riding Bobs, rat trapping, "shinning up" trees, fishing in the lagoon and generally disporting herself as a maiden may whom conventional restrictions have ...
— A Little Bush Maid • Mary Grant Bruce

... Nan at once, 'and there is another like that that the collier-boats can't stand. If you call out to a collier, "There's a rat in your chains" he'd drive his schooner ashore ...
— The Beautiful Wretch; The Pupil of Aurelius; and The Four Macnicols • William Black

... carried under their aprons bags which they filled with sugar from the casks; or they took with them bladders for stealing the rum. Some waded about in the mud at low tide to catch anything that was thrown to them from the ships. Some obtained admission to the ship as rat-catchers, and in that capacity were able to carry away plunder previously concealed by their friends; some, called scuffle-hunters, stood on the quays as porters, carrying bags under their long white aprons in which to hide whatever they could pilfer. It was estimated that, taking one year with ...
— As We Are and As We May Be • Sir Walter Besant

... a bit as his keen little rat-like eyes turned towards that quarter of the heavens; but the frown was not for Waldo, nor ...
— The Lost City • Joseph E. Badger, Jr.

... emerging insects; titmice chatter; the bold, clear whistle of the cardinal sounds never so gaily; and song sparrows pipe from every wayside shrub and fence post. Coons and opossums stir in their dens, musk-rat and ground-hog inspect the weather, while squirrels race along branches and bound from tree to ...
— The Harvester • Gene Stratton Porter



Words linked to "Rat" :   inform, stool pigeon, hair style, employ, disagreeable person, hairstyle, hairdo, coiffure, capture, worker, coif, pad, copper's nark, hire, supergrass, canary, desert, source, informant, unpleasant person, sell out, stoolpigeon, rodent, industry, manufacture, nark, Oryzomys palustris, catch, do work, gnawer, tell on, sneaker, snitcher, sneak, bandicoot rat, engage, defect, stoolie, fill out, work



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