‘Bunny' vs 'Rabbit': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on November 30, 2022

As a writer, it is common to wonder if words you have been using interchangeably truly mean the same thing. When it comes to ‘bunny’ vs ‘rabbit,’ the two are synonyms. That means they mean the same thing, and you can use them interchangeably. However, ‘bunny’ more specifically describes a young or adolescent ‘rabbit.’

However, there may be certain situations when one is more appropriate than the other. So, read through this guide to learn the definition, when to use each version, and information on the origin of these two words. 

What is the Difference Between ‘Bunny’ vs ‘Rabbit?’

‘Bunny’ and ‘rabbit’ are synonyms. So, you can use them interchangeably in some cases. You may even hear people use the two together. For example: 

  • Did you see the ‘bunny rabbits’ at the pet shop? 

While these two words are synonyms, using one to replace the other depends on the context in which you are using them. 

Definitions: ‘Bunny’ vs ‘Rabbit’

As with many words, ‘bunny’ and ‘rabbit’ have more than one meaning. 

Definition of ‘Bunny’

‘Bunny’ is a noun. The primary definition of a ‘bunny’ is a rabbit, particularly a baby or young rabbit. 

However, ‘bunny’ is also an outdated slang term for attractive young women. For example: 

  • Did you see all the beach ‘bunnies’ out today? 

You can also use it as an informal basketball term describing an easy shot made close to the goal. For example: 

Definition of ‘Rabbit

‘Rabbit’ can be a noun or a verb. As a noun, ‘rabbit’ means a burrowing, long-eared, plan-eating mammal with a short tail and large hind legs. When used as a verb, ‘rabbit’ means to hunt a ‘rabbit.’ For example: 

  • Each year, the men in our family get together to go ‘rabbiting.’

Synonyms: ‘Bunny’ vs ‘Rabbit’ 

Even though a ‘bunny’ is technically a young ‘rabbit,' many people use the two words in place of each other. Here are a few other synonyms for ‘bunny’ and ‘rabbit.’

  • Hare
  • Cottontail
  • Rodent

Usage Examples: ‘Bunny’ vs ‘Rabbits’

Now that you know the difference between ‘bunny’ vs ‘rabbit,' take a look at these examples of the two used in the sentences below: 

  • I wanted to buy one of the adorable ‘bunnies’ at the pet shop, but my parents told me taking care of a ‘rabbit’ is a lot of work. 
  • The ‘bunny’ had the cutest little twitching nose. 
  • Have you ever touched a wild ‘rabbit?’

Final Advice on the Difference Between ‘Bunny’ vs ‘Rabbit’

When trying to decide between ‘bunny’ vs ‘rabbit’ it is important to remember that you can use these two words as synonyms. However, ‘bunny’ specifically refers to a young ‘rabbit.’ 

For help with other confusing words, review the other guides on writingtips.org. You can also bookmark the site to use as a reference for verifying spelling, grammar rules, definitions, and the meaning of dozens of popular sayings.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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