Definition of rabbet in English:



North American
  • A step-shaped recess cut along the edge or in the face of a piece of wood, typically forming a match to the edge or tongue of another piece; a rebate.

    as modifier ‘a rabbet joint’


[with object]North American
  • 1Make a rebate in (a piece of wood).

    • ‘Imagine getting a door slab, an unassembled door jamb, hinges and door hardware and having to do all the mortising, drilling, rabbeting on site.’
    • ‘Of course, the miter and lap could be made by rabbeting and making the 45 degree cut with a shoulder plane.’
    • ‘A neater and stronger solution was to rabbet the drawer sides to accept both the drawer bottom and the runners.’
    • ‘It would be a mistake to rabbet the edge first: the fence would have no surface to guide it for subsequent cuts.’
    1. 1.1with object Join or fix (a piece of wood) to another with a rebate.


Late Middle English: from Old French rabbat ‘abatement, recess’.