The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Rat \Rat\ (r[a^]t), n. [AS. r[ae]t; akin to D. rat, OHG. rato,
ratta, G. ratte, ratze, OLG. ratta, LG. & Dan. rotte, Sw.
r[*a]tta, F. rat, Ir. & Gael radan, Armor. raz, of unknown
origin. Cf. Raccoon.]
1. (Zool.) One of several species of small rodents of the
genus Rattus (formerly included in Mus) and allied
genera, of the family Muridae, distinguished from mice
primarily by being larger. They infest houses, stores, and
ships, especially the Norway rat, also called brown rat,
(Rattus norvegicus formerly Mus decumanus), the black
rat (Rattus rattus formerly Mus rattus), and the roof
rat (formerly Mus Alexandrinus, now included in Rattus
rattus). These were introduced into America from the Old
World. The white rat used most commonly in laboratories is
primarily a strain derived from Rattus rattus.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
2. A round and tapering mass of hair, or similar material,
used by women to support the puffs and rolls of their
natural hair. [Local, U.S.]
3. One who deserts his party or associates; hence, in the
trades, one who works for lower wages than those
prescribed by a trades union. [Cant]
Note: "It so chanced that, not long after the accession of
the house of Hanover, some of the brown, that is the
German or Norway, rats, were first brought over to this
country (in some timber as is said); and being much
stronger than the black, or, till then, the common,
rats, they in many places quite extirpated the latter.
The word (both the noun and the verb to rat) was first,
as we have seen, leveled at the converts to the
government of George the First, but has by degrees
obtained a wider meaning, and come to be applied to any
sudden and mercenary change in politics." --Lord Mahon.
Bamboo rat (Zool.), any Indian rodent of the genus
Beaver rat, Coast rat. (Zool.) See under Beaver and
Blind rat (Zool.), the mole rat.
Cotton rat (Zool.), a long-haired rat (Sigmodon
hispidus), native of the Southern United States and
Mexico. It makes its nest of cotton and is often injurious
to the crop.
Ground rat. See Ground Pig, under Ground.
Hedgehog rat. See under Hedgehog.
Kangaroo rat (Zool.), the potoroo.
Norway rat (Zool.), the common brown rat. See Rat.
Pouched rat. (Zool.)
(a) See Pocket Gopher, under Pocket.
(b) Any African rodent of the genus Cricetomys.
Rat Indians (Ethnol.), a tribe of Indians dwelling near
Fort Ukon, Alaska. They belong to the Athabascan stock.
Rat mole. (Zool.) See Mole rat, under Mole.
Rat pit, an inclosed space into which rats are put to be
killed by a dog for sport.
Rat snake (Zool.), a large colubrine snake (Ptyas
mucosus) very common in India and Ceylon. It enters
dwellings, and destroys rats, chickens, etc.
Spiny rat (Zool.), any South American rodent of the genus
To smell a rat. See under Smell.
Wood rat (Zool.), any American rat of the genus Neotoma,
especially Neotoma Floridana, common in the Southern
United States. Its feet and belly are white.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Black \Black\ (bl[a^]k), a. [OE. blak, AS. bl[ae]c; akin to
Icel. blakkr dark, swarthy, Sw. bl[aum]ck ink, Dan. bl[ae]k,
OHG. blach, LG. & D. blaken to burn with a black smoke. Not
akin to AS. bl[=a]c, E. bleak pallid. [root]98.]
1. Destitute of light, or incapable of reflecting it; of the
color of soot or coal; of the darkest or a very dark
color, the opposite of white; characterized by such a
color; as, black cloth; black hair or eyes.
O night, with hue so black! --Shak.
2. In a less literal sense: Enveloped or shrouded in
darkness; very dark or gloomy; as, a black night; the
heavens black with clouds.
I spy a black, suspicious, threatening cloud.
3. Fig.: Dismal, gloomy, or forbidding, like darkness;
destitute of moral light or goodness; atrociously wicked;
cruel; mournful; calamitous; horrible. "This day's black
fate." "Black villainy." "Arise, black vengeance." "Black
day." "Black despair." --Shak.
4. Expressing menace, or discontent; threatening; sullen;
foreboding; as, to regard one with black looks.
Note: Black is often used in self-explaining compound words;
as, black-eyed, black-faced, black-haired,
Black act, the English statute 9 George I, which makes it a
felony to appear armed in any park or warren, etc., or to
hunt or steal deer, etc., with the face blackened or
disguised. Subsequent acts inflicting heavy penalties for
malicious injuries to cattle and machinery have been
called black acts.
Black angel (Zool.), a fish of the West Indies and Florida
(Holacanthus tricolor), with the head and tail yellow,
and the middle of the body black.
Black antimony (Chem.), the black sulphide of antimony,
Sb2S3, used in pyrotechnics, etc.
Black bear (Zool.), the common American bear (Ursus
Black beast. See B[^e]te noire.
Black beetle (Zool.), the common large cockroach (Blatta
Black bonnet (Zool.), the black-headed bunting (Embriza
Sch[oe]niclus) of Europe.
Black canker, a disease in turnips and other crops,
produced by a species of caterpillar.
Black cat (Zool.), the fisher, a quadruped of North America
allied to the sable, but larger. See Fisher.
Black cattle, any bovine cattle reared for slaughter, in
distinction from dairy cattle. [Eng.]
Black cherry. See under Cherry.
Black cockatoo (Zool.), the palm cockatoo. See Cockatoo.
Black copper. Same as Melaconite.
Black currant. (Bot.) See Currant.
Black diamond. (Min.) See Carbonado.
Black draught (Med.), a cathartic medicine, composed of
senna and magnesia.
Black drop (Med.), vinegar of opium; a narcotic preparation
consisting essentially of a solution of opium in vinegar.
Black earth, mold; earth of a dark color. --Woodward.
Black flag, the flag of a pirate, often bearing in white a
skull and crossbones; a signal of defiance.
Black flea (Zool.), a flea beetle (Haltica nemorum)
injurious to turnips.
Black flux, a mixture of carbonate of potash and charcoal,
obtained by deflagrating tartar with half its weight of
niter. --Brande & C.
Black Forest [a translation of G. Schwarzwald], a forest in
Baden and W["u]rtemburg, in Germany; a part of the ancient
Black game, or Black grouse. (Zool.) See Blackcock,
Grouse, and Heath grouse.
Black grass (Bot.), a grasslike rush of the species Juncus
Gerardi, growing on salt marshes, and making good hay.
Black gum (Bot.), an American tree, the tupelo or
pepperidge. See Tupelo.
Black Hamburg (grape) (Bot.), a sweet and juicy variety of
dark purple or "black" grape.
Black horse (Zool.), a fish of the Mississippi valley
(Cycleptus elongatus), of the sucker family; the
Black lemur (Zool.), the Lemurniger of Madagascar; the
acoumbo of the natives.
Black list, a list of persons who are for some reason
thought deserving of censure or punishment; -- esp. a list
of persons stigmatized as insolvent or untrustworthy, made
for the protection of tradesmen or employers. See
Blacklist, v. t.
Black manganese (Chem.), the black oxide of manganese,
Black Maria, the close wagon in which prisoners are carried
to or from jail.
Black martin (Zool.), the chimney swift. See Swift.
Black moss (Bot.), the common so-called long moss of the
southern United States. See Tillandsia.
Black oak. See under Oak.
Black ocher. See Wad.
Black pigment, a very fine, light carbonaceous substance,
or lampblack, prepared chiefly for the manufacture of
printers' ink. It is obtained by burning common coal tar.
Black plate, sheet iron before it is tinned. --Knight.
Black quarter, malignant anthrax with engorgement of a
shoulder or quarter, etc., as of an ox.
Black rat (Zool.), one of the species of rats (Mus
rattus), commonly infesting houses.
Black rent. See Blackmail, n., 3.
Black rust, a disease of wheat, in which a black, moist
matter is deposited in the fissures of the grain.
Black sheep, one in a family or company who is unlike the
rest, and makes trouble.
Black silver. (Min.) See under Silver.
Black and tan, black mixed or spotted with tan color or
reddish brown; -- used in describing certain breeds of
Black tea. See under Tea.
Black tin (Mining), tin ore (cassiterite), when dressed,
stamped and washed, ready for smelting. It is in the form
of a black powder, like fine sand. --Knight.
Black walnut. See under Walnut.
Black warrior (Zool.), an American hawk (Buteo Harlani).
Syn: Dark; murky; pitchy; inky; somber; dusky; gloomy; swart;
Cimmerian; ebon; atrocious.