1. [syn: wood rat, wood-rat]
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:
Wood \Wood\, n. [OE. wode, wude, AS. wudu, wiodu; akin to OHG.
witu, Icel. vi?r, Dan. & Sw. ved wood, and probably to Ir. &
Gael. fiodh, W. gwydd trees, shrubs.]
1. A large and thick collection of trees; a forest or grove;
-- frequently used in the plural.
Light thickens, and the crow
Makes wing to the rooky wood. --Shak.
2. The substance of trees and the like; the hard fibrous
substance which composes the body of a tree and its
branches, and which is covered by the bark; timber. "To
worship their own work in wood and stone for gods."
3. (Bot.) The fibrous material which makes up the greater
part of the stems and branches of trees and shrubby
plants, and is found to a less extent in herbaceous stems.
It consists of elongated tubular or needle-shaped cells of
various kinds, usually interwoven with the shinning bands
called silver grain.
Note: Wood consists chiefly of the carbohydrates cellulose
and lignin, which are isomeric with starch.
4. Trees cut or sawed for the fire or other uses.
Wood acid, Wood vinegar (Chem.), a complex acid liquid
obtained in the dry distillation of wood, and containing
large quantities of acetic acid; hence, specifically,
acetic acid. Formerly called pyroligneous acid.
Wood anemone (Bot.), a delicate flower (Anemone nemorosa)
of early spring; -- also called windflower. See Illust.
Wood ant (Zool.), a large ant (Formica rufa) which lives
in woods and forests, and constructs large nests.
Wood apple (Bot.). See Elephant apple, under Elephant.
Wood baboon (Zool.), the drill.
Wood betony. (Bot.)
(a) Same as Betony.
(b) The common American lousewort (Pedicularis
Canadensis), a low perennial herb with yellowish or
Wood borer. (Zool.)
(a) The larva of any one of numerous species of boring
beetles, esp. elaters, longicorn beetles,
buprestidans, and certain weevils. See Apple borer,
under Apple, and Pine weevil, under Pine.
(b) The larva of any one of various species of
lepidopterous insects, especially of the clearwing
moths, as the peach-tree borer (see under Peach),
and of the goat moths.
(c) The larva of various species of hymenopterous of the
tribe Urocerata. See Tremex.
(d) Any one of several bivalve shells which bore in wood,
as the teredos, and species of Xylophaga.
(e) Any one of several species of small Crustacea, as the
Limnoria, and the boring amphipod (Chelura
Wood carpet, a kind of floor covering made of thin pieces
of wood secured to a flexible backing, as of cloth.
Wood cell (Bot.), a slender cylindrical or prismatic cell
usually tapering to a point at both ends. It is the
principal constituent of woody fiber.
Wood choir, the choir, or chorus, of birds in the woods.
Wood coal, charcoal; also, lignite, or brown coal.
Wood cricket (Zool.), a small European cricket (Nemobius
Wood culver (Zool.), the wood pigeon.
Wood cut, an engraving on wood; also, a print from such an
Wood dove (Zool.), the stockdove.
Wood drink, a decoction or infusion of medicinal woods.
Wood duck (Zool.)
(a) A very beautiful American duck (Aix sponsa). The
male has a large crest, and its plumage is varied with
green, purple, black, white, and red. It builds its
nest in trees, whence the name. Called also bridal
duck, summer duck, and wood widgeon.
(b) The hooded merganser.
(c) The Australian maned goose (Chlamydochen jubata).
Wood echo, an echo from the wood.
(a) An engraver on wood.
(b) (Zool.) Any of several species of small beetles whose
larvae bore beneath the bark of trees, and excavate
furrows in the wood often more or less resembling
coarse engravings; especially, Xyleborus
(a) The act or art engraving on wood; xylography.
(b) An engraving on wood; a wood cut; also, a print from
such an engraving.
Wood fern. (Bot.) See Shield fern, under Shield.
(a) (Bot.) Fibrovascular tissue.
(b) Wood comminuted, and reduced to a powdery or dusty
Wood fretter (Zool.), any one of numerous species of
beetles whose larvae bore in the wood, or beneath the
bark, of trees.
Wood frog (Zool.), a common North American frog (Rana
sylvatica) which lives chiefly in the woods, except
during the breeding season. It is drab or yellowish brown,
with a black stripe on each side of the head.
Wood germander. (Bot.) See under Germander.
Wood god, a fabled sylvan deity.
Wood grass. (Bot.) See under Grass.
Wood grouse. (Zool.)
(a) The capercailzie.
(b) The spruce partridge. See under Spruce.
Wood guest (Zool.), the ringdove. [Prov. Eng.]
Wood hen. (Zool.)
(a) Any one of several species of Old World short-winged
rails of the genus Ocydromus, including the weka and
(b) The American woodcock.
Wood hoopoe (Zool.), any one of several species of Old
World arboreal birds belonging to Irrisor and allied
genera. They are closely allied to the common hoopoe, but
have a curved beak, and a longer tail.
Wood ibis (Zool.), any one of several species of large,
long-legged, wading birds belonging to the genus
Tantalus. The head and neck are naked or scantily
covered with feathers. The American wood ibis (Tantalus
loculator) is common in Florida.
Wood lark (Zool.), a small European lark (Alauda
arborea), which, like, the skylark, utters its notes
while on the wing. So called from its habit of perching on
Wood laurel (Bot.), a European evergreen shrub (Daphne
Wood leopard (Zool.), a European spotted moth (Zeuzera
aesculi) allied to the goat moth. Its large fleshy larva
bores in the wood of the apple, pear, and other fruit
Wood lily (Bot.), the lily of the valley.
Wood lock (Naut.), a piece of wood close fitted and
sheathed with copper, in the throating or score of the
pintle, to keep the rudder from rising.
Wood louse (Zool.)
(a) Any one of numerous species of terrestrial isopod
Crustacea belonging to Oniscus, Armadillo, and
related genera. See Sow bug, under Sow, and Pill
bug, under Pill.
(b) Any one of several species of small, wingless,
pseudoneuropterous insects of the family Psocidae,
which live in the crevices of walls and among old
books and papers. Some of the species are called also
book lice, and deathticks, or deathwatches.
Wood mite (Zool.), any one of numerous small mites of the
family Oribatidae. They are found chiefly in woods, on
tree trunks and stones.
Wood mote. (Eng. Law)
(a) Formerly, the forest court.
(b) The court of attachment.
Wood nettle. (Bot.) See under Nettle.
Wood nightshade (Bot.), woody nightshade.
Wood nut (Bot.), the filbert.
Wood nymph. (a) A nymph inhabiting the woods; a fabled
goddess of the woods; a dryad. "The wood nymphs, decked
with daisies trim." --Milton.
(b) (Zool.) Any one of several species of handsomely
colored moths belonging to the genus Eudryas. The
larvae are bright-colored, and some of the species, as
Eudryas grata, and Eudryas unio, feed on the
leaves of the grapevine.
(c) (Zool.) Any one of several species of handsomely
colored South American humming birds belonging to the
genus Thalurania. The males are bright blue, or
green and blue.
Wood offering, wood burnt on the altar.
We cast the lots . . . for the wood offering. --Neh.
Wood oil (Bot.), a resinous oil obtained from several East
Indian trees of the genus Dipterocarpus, having
properties similar to those of copaiba, and sometimes
substituted for it. It is also used for mixing paint. See
Wood opal (Min.), a striped variety of coarse opal, having
some resemblance to wood.
Wood paper, paper made of wood pulp. See Wood pulp,
Wood pewee (Zool.), a North American tyrant flycatcher
(Contopus virens). It closely resembles the pewee, but
Wood pie (Zool.), any black and white woodpecker,
especially the European great spotted woodpecker.
Wood pigeon. (Zool.)
(a) Any one of numerous species of Old World pigeons
belonging to Palumbus and allied genera of the
(b) The ringdove.
Wood puceron (Zool.), a plant louse.
Wood pulp (Technol.), vegetable fiber obtained from the
poplar and other white woods, and so softened by digestion
with a hot solution of alkali that it can be formed into
sheet paper, etc. It is now produced on an immense scale.
Wood quail (Zool.), any one of several species of East
Indian crested quails belonging to Rollulus and allied
genera, as the red-crested wood quail (Rollulus
roulroul), the male of which is bright green, with a long
crest of red hairlike feathers.
Wood rabbit (Zool.), the cottontail.
Wood rat (Zool.), any one of several species of American
wild rats of the genus Neotoma found in the Southern
United States; -- called also bush rat. The Florida wood
rat (Neotoma Floridana) is the best-known species.
Wood reed grass (Bot.), a tall grass (Cinna arundinacea)
growing in moist woods.
Wood reeve, the steward or overseer of a wood. [Eng.]
Wood rush (Bot.), any plant of the genus Luzula,
differing from the true rushes of the genus Juncus
chiefly in having very few seeds in each capsule.
Wood sage (Bot.), a name given to several labiate plants of
the genus Teucrium. See Germander.
Wood screw, a metal screw formed with a sharp thread, and
usually with a slotted head, for insertion in wood.
Wood sheldrake (Zool.), the hooded merganser.
Wood shock (Zool.), the fisher. See Fisher, 2.
Wood shrike (Zool.), any one of numerous species of Old
World singing birds belonging to Grallina,
Collyricincla, Prionops, and allied genera, common in
India and Australia. They are allied to the true shrikes,
but feed upon both insects and berries.
Wood snipe. (Zool.)
(a) The American woodcock.
(b) An Asiatic snipe (Gallinago nemoricola).
Wood soot, soot from burnt wood.
Wood sore. (Zool.) See Cuckoo spit, under Cuckoo.
Wood sorrel (Bot.), a plant of the genus Oxalis (Oxalis
Acetosella), having an acid taste. See Illust. (a) of
Wood spirit. (Chem.) See Methyl alcohol, under Methyl.
Wood stamp, a carved or engraved block or stamp of wood,
for impressing figures or colors on fabrics.
Wood star (Zool.), any one of several species of small
South American humming birds belonging to the genus
Calothorax. The male has a brilliant gorget of blue,
purple, and other colors.
Wood sucker (Zool.), the yaffle.
Wood swallow (Zool.), any one of numerous species of Old
World passerine birds belonging to the genus Artamus and
allied genera of the family Artamidae. They are common
in the East Indies, Asia, and Australia. In form and
habits they resemble swallows, but in structure they
resemble shrikes. They are usually black above and white
Wood tapper (Zool.), any woodpecker.
Wood tar. See under Tar.
Wood thrush, (Zool.)
(a) An American thrush (Turdus mustelinus) noted for the
sweetness of its song. See under Thrush.
(b) The missel thrush.
Wood tick. See in Vocabulary.
Wood tin. (Min.). See Cassiterite.
Wood titmouse (Zool.), the goldcgest.
Wood tortoise (Zool.), the sculptured tortoise. See under
Wood vine (Bot.), the white bryony.
Wood vinegar. See Wood acid, above.
Wood warbler. (Zool.)
(a) Any one of numerous species of American warblers of
the genus Dendroica. See Warbler.
(b) A European warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix); --
called also green wren, wood wren, and yellow
Wood worm (Zool.), a larva that bores in wood; a wood
Wood wren. (Zool.)
(a) The wood warbler.
(b) The willow warbler.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: any of various small short-tailed rodents of the northern
hemisphere having soft fur grey above and white below with
furred tails and large ears; some are hosts for Ixodes
pacificus and Ixodes scapularis (Lyme disease ticks) [syn:
wood rat, wood-rat]