Definition of rathole in US English:



  • 1A cramped or squalid room or building.

    • ‘And not just ratholes; ratholes without a washing machine or air conditioning.’
    • ‘I've looked at a number of places, both share situations and solo one-bedrooms, and I've discovered that lots of folks pay a whole lot of money to live in ratholes.’
    • ‘The illness is key to the film's basic structure, careening between Hughes's high-flying grandiose business exploits and the suffocating rathole of his phobic hell.’
  • 2North American Used to refer to the waste of money or resources.

    ‘pouring our assets down the rathole of military expenditure’
    • ‘‘If taxpayers were aware that a good chunk of their taxes were going down the rathole into these subsidies, they'd be marching on the Mall,’ said Myers in an interview.’
    • ‘One can only hope some lonely auditor somewhere is figuring out what ratholes those funds went down too.’
    • ‘It followed Dell into custom manufacturing, but while Dell moved into computers-as-capital-goods (selling servers and business systems), Gateway followed home computing down the consumer electronics rathole.’
    • ‘It's rather appropriate that the logo for Disney is a mouse, because The Walt Disney Company this week announced its intention to throw money down a rathole.’
    • ‘This is not to say that more money might not make the difference, but the system is not binary, and we could well just be pouring more US money down a bottomless rathole.’


[with object]North American
  • Hide (money or goods), typically as part of a fraud or deception.