Pronunciation: (rat'hōl"), [key]
1. a hole made by a rat, as into a room, barn, etc.: The first chore in the old building is to plug up the ratholes.
2. the burrow or shelter of a rat.
3. any small and uncomfortable room, office, apartment, etc., esp. one that is dirty or disordered: He lives in a rathole near the docks.
4. down the rathole, for a worthless purpose or purposes: seeing your inheritance disappear down the rathole.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.