Dictionary: R – RA'CA

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is the eighteenth letter of the English Alphabet, and an articulation sui generis, having little or no resemblance in pronunciation to any other letter. But from the position of the tongue in uttering it, it is commutable with l, into which letter it is changed in many words by the Spaniards and Portuguese, and some other nations; as l is also changed into r. It is numbered among the liquids and semi-vowels, and is sometimes called the canine letter. It is uttered with a guttural extrusion of the breath, and in some words, particularly at the end or after a labial and a dental letter, with a sort of quivering motion or slight jar of the tongue. Its English uses, which are uniform, may be understood by the customary pronunciation of rod, room, rose, bar, bare, barren, disturb, catarrh, free, brad, pride, drip, drag, drown. In words which we have received from the Greek language, we follow the Latins, who wrote h after r, as the representative of the aspirated sound with which this letter was pronounced by the Greeks. It is the same in the Welsh language. But as the letter is not aspirated in English, h is entirely superfluous; rhapsody, rheum, rhetoric being pronounced rapsody, reum, retoric. As an abbreviation, R. in English, stands for rex, king, as George R. In the notes of the ancients, R. or RO. stands for Roma; R. C. for Romana civitas; R. G. C. for rei gerendæ causa; R. F. E. D. for recte factum et dictum; R. G. F. for regis filius; R. P. respublica, or Romani principes. As a numeral, R, in Roman authors, stands for 80, and with a dash over it, R̅, for 80,000. But in Greek, ρ, with a small mark over it, thus ρʹ, signifies 100, and with the same mark under it (͵ρ), it denoted 1000×100, or 100,000. In Hebrew, ר‎‎ denoted 200, and with two horizontal points over it, ר̈‎‎, 1000×200, or 200,000. Among physicians, R. stands for recipe, take.

RA, prep. [RA-.]

As an inseparable prefix or preposition, is the Latin re, coming to us through the Italian and French, and primarily signifying again, repetition. [See Re.]

RA-BATE, v.t. [Fr. rabattre; It. rabbattere; ra and battre, battere, to beat. See Beat and Abate.]

In falconry, to recover a hawk to the fist. – Ainsworth.

RA-BA'TO, n. [Fr. rabat.]

A neckband or ruff. [Not in use.]


A cut on the side of a board, &c. to fit it to another by lapping; a joint made by lapping boards, &c.

RAB'BET, v.t. [Fr. raboter.]

  1. To pare down the edge of a board or other piece of timber, for the purpose of receiving the edge of another piece by lapping and thus uniting the two. – Moxon.
  2. To lap and unite the edges of boards, &c. In ship carpentry, to let the edge of a plank into the keel. – Mar. Dict.


Pared down at the edge; united by a rabbet joint.


Paring down the edge of a board uniting by a rabbet joint.


A joiner's plane for paring or cutting square down the edge of a hoard, &c. – Moxon.

RAB'BI, or RAB'BIN, n. [Ch. רבא, Ar. رَبً, lord, master.]

A title assumed by the Jewish doctors, signifying master or lord. This title is not conferred by authority, but assumed or allowed by courtesy to learned men. – Encyc.


Pertaining to the Rabbins, or to their opinions, learning and language.


The language or dialect of the Rabbins; the later Hebrew.


A Rabbinic expression or phraseology; a peculiarity of the language of the Rabbins. – Encyc.


Among the Jews, one who adhered to the Talmud and the traditions of the Rabbins, in opposition to the Caraites, who rejected the traditions.


The same as Rabbinist.

RAB'BIT, n. [said to be from the Belgic robbe, robbeken.]

A rodent mammal, and a small quadruped, the Lepus cuniculus, which feeds on grass or other herbage, and burrows in the earth. The rabbit is said to be less sagacious than the hare. It is a very prolific animal, and is kept in warrens for the sake of its flesh. It is sometimes called cony.

RAB'BLE, n. [L. rabula, a brawler, from rabo, to rave; Dan. raaber; D. rabbelen; connected with a great family of words with these elements, Rb, Rp. Qu. Sp. rabel, the tail.]

  1. A tumultuous crowd of vulgar, noisy people; the mob; a confused disorderly crowd. – Shak.
  2. The lower class of people, without reference to an assembly; the dregs of the people. – Addison.


Charming or delighting the rabble. – South.


A tumultuous crowd of low people. [Not in use.] – Spenser. Shak.

RAB-DOL'O-GY, n. [Gr. ῥαβδος, a rod, and λογος, discourse.]

A method of performing mathematical operations by little square rods. – Ash.

RAB'ID, a. [L. rabidus, from rabio, rabo, to rage; W. rhaib.]

Furious; raging; mad; as, a rabid dog or wolf. It is particularly applied to animals of the canine genus, affected with the distemper called rabies, and whose bite communicates hydrophobia.

RAB'ID-LY, adv.

Madly; furiously.


Furiousness; madness.


A kind of smaller ordnance. – Ainsworth.

RA'CA, n.

A Syriac word signifying empty, beggarly, foolish; a term of extreme contempt. – Matth. v.