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rabbet (n.)

"rectangular groove or channel cut out of the edge of a board or piece of stone so that it will join by overlapping with the next piece, similarly cut," late 14c., rabet, from Old French rabat "a recess in a wall, a lower section," literally "a beating down or back," a back-formation from rabattre "to beat down, beat back" (see rebate (v.); the noun is a doublet of this word).

The verb, meaning "to groove or fit (boards, etc.) by cutting rabbets" is attested from mid-15c. (implied in rabatted, rabetynge); Middle English also had rabet "joiner's plane, rabbet-plane" (mid-15c., from Old French rabot).

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Definitions of rabbet from WordNet
1
rabbet (v.)
join with a rabbet joint;
rabbet (v.)
cut a rectangular groove into;
2
rabbet (n.)
a rectangular groove made to hold two pieces together;
Synonyms: rebate
From wordnet.princeton.edu