Definition of black rat in English:

black rat


  • A rat with dark fur, large ears, and a long tail. It is found throughout the world, being particularly common in the tropics, and is the chief host of the plague-transmitting flea.

    Rattus rattus, family Muridae

    Also called ship rat, house rat, or roof rat
    • ‘What was worse, he turned his head and found a black rat and a white rat biting energetically into the trunk of the plum tree.’
    • ‘The plague likely spread to Europe on the backs of shipboard black rats that carried plague-infested fleas.’
    • ‘The reptile house will become the mouse house, home to all kinds of rodents including black rats.’
    • ‘The bats thrived there as recently as 1962 or 1963, until the arrival of black rats aboard fishing vessels.’
    • ‘The small animals we call rats come in two types, the black rat and the Norway rat, and they have lived with man throughout history.’