Definition of rabbet in English:


nounPlural rabbets

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’

verbrabbeting, rabbeted, rabbets

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

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