Bunny vs. Rabbit – What’s the Difference?

Is the mythical creature that symbolizes Easter a bunny or rabbit? What about the ferocious beast that savaged the knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

The distinction between bunny and rabbit might seem trivial in the modern day, but a distinction exists to be made. Continue reading to learn the difference between these two words and whether rabbit or bunny better describes a given creature.

What is the Difference Between Bunny and Rabbit?

In this article, I will compare rabbit vs. bunny. I will use each of these words in at least one example sentence, so you can see them in context.

Plus, I will show you a helpful memory tool that will show you how to distinguish between these animals.

When to Use Rabbit

Definition of rabbit definition of bunny definitionWhat does rabbit mean? The word rabbit is a noun. A rabbit is a type of mammal. They are small, furry animals with large ears and powerful back legs that can be seen hopping around in meadows in the springtime.

A rabbit is different from a hare. While they appear similar, and belong to the same biological family, they are different species.

Here are some examples of rabbit in a sentence,

  • “Yummy, I love rabbit stew!” said the poor little orphan boy.
  • Wanda saw a rabbit in her front yard while she was drinking her morning coffee.
  • “Be very, very quiet,” warned the woodsman. “I’m hunting rabbits!”
  • When I lived in Paris about 10 years ago, rabbit was always in the weekly dinner rotation. –The New York Times

Additionally, Welsh rabbit is a toast and cheese dish that contains no rabbit meat, but it is common in some U.K. taverns. No one knows why it is called that. One folk theory is that most Welsh were too poor to afford rabbit meat, and they substituted toast and cheese, leading to the name Welsh rabbit.

When to Use Bunny

Define rabbit and define bunnyWhat does bunny mean? Bunny is another noun and another name for a rabbit, but it usually refers to a young rabbit, often a baby rabbit.

The diminutive bunny is unscientific and should be avoided in contexts requiring taxonomical precision.

Here are a few example sentences for bunny,

  • “The Easter bunny came!” exclaimed the four-year-old.
  • Chelsea wants a pet bunny, a pet tarantula, a pet ostrich, and a pet camel, but her mother wants none of those things.
  • “My bunny pooped in the living room,” complained Jared.
  • A cement bunny appeared on the doorstep. A rusted baker’s rack materialized on the patio. –The Wall Street Journal

Trick to Remember the Difference

bunny versus rabbitHere’s an easy trick to remember rabbit vs. bunny.

A rabbit is a small mammal, and a bunny is a small rabbit. You can remember this because bunny and baby both start with the letter “B.” Bunnies are usually small or baby rabbits.

Rabbit is more taxonomically precise than bunny, so you should use it in formal writing. Since rabbit and formal both contain the letter R, you can use that letter as a reminder to use rabbit in formal writing.


Is it bunny or rabbit? Both of these words refer to the same mammal, but they usually refer to that mammal at different stages of development.

  • A rabbit a type of small mammal.
  • A bunny is a small or baby rabbit.

Don’t forget, you can also reread this article any time you need a quick refresher.