Rather meaning

răthər, räthər
More accurately; more precisely.

His sister, or rather, stepsister.

adverb
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0
(chiefly british) Most certainly. Used as an emphatic affirmative reply.
adverb
6
2
With more justice, logic, reason, etc.

One might rather say.

adverb
5
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(obs.) More quickly; sooner.
adverb
2
0
On the contrary; quite conversely.

Not a help, rather a hindrance.

adverb
2
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Somewhat; to some degree.

Rather hungry.

adverb
2
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(chiefly brit.) Yes; certainly.
interjection
2
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More exactly; more accurately.

He's my friend, or rather he was my friend.

adverb
2
1
On the contrary.

This is not a thoughtful criticism. Rather it is an insult.

adverb
2
1
More willingly; preferably.

Would you rather have tea?

adverb
2
1
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More readily; preferably.

I'd rather go to the movies.

adverb
1
1
To a certain extent; somewhat.

It's rather cold out. I was rather hoping you'd call.

adverb
1
1
Rather is defined as preferably or more accurately.

An example of rather used as an adverb is wanting to live on the west coast rather than on the east coast.

adverb
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Used to specify a choice or preference; preferably. [from 9th c.]

I'd rather stay in all day than go out with them. I'd like this one rather than the other one. I'd rather be with you.

adverb
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(conjunctive) Used to introduce a contradiction; on the contrary. [from 14th c.]

It wasn't supposed to be popular; rather, it was supposed to get the job done. She didn't go along, but rather went home instead.

adverb
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(conjunctive) Introducing a qualification or clarification; more precisely. (Now usually preceded by or.) [from 15th c.]

I didn't want to leave. Or rather I did, just not alone.

adverb
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(degree) Somewhat, fairly. [from 16th c.]

This melon is rather tasteless. This melon is rather tasteless, especially compared to the one we had last time.

adverb
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(nonstandard or dialectal) To prefer; to prefer to.
verb
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(obsolete) Prior; earlier; former.
adjective
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0
had rather
  • would rather
idiom
0
0
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rather than
  • instead of; in place of
idiom
0
0
would rather
  • would choose to
  • would prefer that
idiom
0
0

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

had rather
would rather

Origin of rather

  • Middle English from Old English hrathor comparative of hræthe quickly, soon from hræth quick

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English rather, rether, from Old English hraþor (“sooner, earlier, more quickly"), comparative of hraþe (“hastily, quickly, promptly, readily, immediately, soon, at once, directly"), equivalent to rathe +"Ž -er. More at rathe.

    From Wiktionary