Definition of warren in English:



also rabbit warren
  • 1A network of interconnecting rabbit burrows.

    • ‘The officials and other 20 walkers were gone, leaving Norm to make his own way through the rabbit warren to the track.’
    • ‘Its interest is that within it survive all the elements of a medieval forest: great timber trees, coppice woods, pollards, scrub, grassland and fen, deer and cattle, and a rabbit warren.’
    • ‘If, for instance, you need to clear a rabbit warren, you have to ensure that there is not a badger down there too - they are protected animals.’
    den, lair, sett, burrow, warren, tunnel, hole, cave
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    1. 1.1 A densely populated or labyrinthine building or district:
      ‘a warren of narrow gas-lit streets’
      • ‘The fight back against ignorance and prejudice in Ethiopia starts in a small warren of offices in a back street of the capital.’
      • ‘We have ripped out al of the awful rabbit warren of rooms and are hopefully on the way to converting it back to the former glory that it once was.’
      • ‘A neighborhood emerges out of a warren of walls, alleys, and roofs.’
      • ‘By the 15th cent., the palace was a rabbit warren of rooms and corridors, swarming with servants and lawyers, and liable to flooding.’
      • ‘The insurgents still had strongholds in the north-western district of Jolan, a warren of narrow streets.’
      • ‘She cast about for his location, eventually following the architecture down below the house and grounds into the warren of interconnected bunkers and tunnels.’
      • ‘At the end of the day even if all the work was done on the centre, we'd still have a large hall upstairs and a rabbit warren of rooms.’
      • ‘He hurried down to the kitchens, a warren of interconnecting passageways and strange rooms.’
      • ‘In a warren of hangar-sized hotel ballrooms in Orlando, military engineers this week showed off their next generation of robots, as they got the machines ready for the war zone.’
      • ‘It was a rabbit warren of a lot of little rooms.’
      • ‘Bricked in and built around, the vaults became a warren of nooks, crannies and tunnels forming the historic city's underworld.’
      • ‘The warren of tunnels and side passages hampered Bahzell's advance badly.’
      • ‘The Underground vanished deeper into the warren of tunnels beneath London, but without the support of the Sleeper agents.’
      • ‘Of the synagogues they built and rebuilt, four still nestle in this timeless Turkish warren, two as museums.’
      • ‘It was all a far cry from the 1897 Irish Times article which described the course as ‘a rabbit warren below the village, where a golfer requires limitless patience and an inexhaustible supply of balls’.’
      • ‘The hostel had 25 two and three-tiered bunks on the ground floor and a virtual rabbit warren of about 20 rooms on the first floor, with four or five people per room.’
      • ‘The result is one glorious rabbit warren of nooks, steps, crannies, fireplaces, lounges and courtyards, shot through with an enormous tree, topped off with pot-strewn terraces.’
      • ‘They had been walking in the Flower Meadow east of Norntown, where most of the norns lived in a warren of interconnected rooms and gardens.’
      • ‘Down in the rabbit warren of watering holes off Walking Street, and opposite the Marine Bar, is a new live music bar/nightclub.’
      • ‘Further houses were bought, and municipal functions developed like a rabbit warren, including eventually the city archives, prison, orphanage, post office, and fire station.’
      complex network, labyrinth, web, tangle, warren, mesh, jungle, snarl, imbroglio
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    2. 1.2British historical An enclosed piece of land set aside for breeding game, especially rabbits.
      • ‘All his senses were focussed upon the rabbits grazing dimwittedly over the open meadowland above their warren.’
      • ‘They were also kept in warrens, enclosed areas of land in which they could feed and burrow, and from whence they were conveniently caught.’
      • ‘It is thought Zac had gone into an unused rabbit or fox warren.’
      • ‘The warrens and enclosures at High and Low Dalby belonged to the Duchy of Lancaster and extended to nearly 3,000 acres.’
      • ‘At first rabbits were managed in warrens, but before long they escaped into the countryside.’


Late Middle English: from an Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French variant of Old French garenne game park, of Gaulish origin.