see also: Rather
  • (British) enPR: räth'ə(r), IPA: /ˈɹɑːðə/
  • (British) (interjection) IPA: /ˌɹɑːˈðɜː(ɹ)/
  • (America) enPRth′ər, IPA: /ˈɹæðɚ/, /ˈɹɑðɚ/

rather (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) More quickly; sooner, earlier. [9th-19th c.]
  2. ngd Used to specify a choice or preference; preferably. (Now usually followed by than) [from 9th c.]
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      Firstly, I continue to base most species treatments on personally collected material, rather than on herbarium plants.
    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.
  3. (conjunctive) ngd 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.
  4. (conjunctive) ngd Introducing a qualification or clarification; more precisely. (Now usually preceded by or.) [from 15th c.]
    • 1897, Henry James, What Maisie Knew:
      What the pupil already knew was indeed rather taken for granted than expressed, but it performed the useful function of transcending all textbooks and supplanting all studies.
    • 1898, J. A. Hamilton, "Stanley, Edward George Geoffrey Smith", in Sidney Lee (Ed.), Dictionary of National Biography, Volume LIV: Stanhope–Stovin, The MacMillan Company, page 60 ↗,
      His ‘Iliad’ is spirited and polished, and, though often rather a paraphrase than a translation, is always more truly poetic than most of the best translations.
    I didn't want to leave. Or rather I did, just not alone.
  5. (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.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations
  • French: au contraire
  • German: im Gegenteil
  • Portuguese: ao contrário
  • Russian: скоре́е
  • Spanish: más bien, al contrario
  • German: eher, um genau zu sein
  • Portuguese: mais, ou seja
  • Russian: верне́е
  • Spanish: más bien
Translations Verb

rather (rathers, present participle rathering; past and past participle rathered)

  1. (nonstandard or dialectal) To prefer; to prefer to.
    • 2002, Elizabeth Bowen, The Heat of the Day:
      So you must excuse my saying anything I did: all it was, that up to the very last I had understood us all to be friendly — apart, that is, from his rathering me not there. How was I to know he would flash out so wicked?
    • 2007, Mikel Schaefer, Lost in Katrina, page 323:
      "That was a killer," said Chris. "I'd rathered die in St. Bernard than spent one minute over there. I would have rathered the storm, shaking with the wind and rain hitting in the boat for an eternity than spending any time there.

rather (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Prior; earlier; former.
    • Now no man dwelleth at the rather town.
  1. (England, dated) An enthusiastic affirmation.
    • 1919, P. G. Wodehouse, My Man Jeeves ↗
      "Do you mean to say, young man," she said frostily, "that you expect me to drink this stuff?"
      "Rather! Bucks you up, you know."
    • 1967, Peter Pook, Banker Pook Confesses ↗:
      "Some of us stupid old die-hards believe that there is yet room for pride in one's work, Pook," Mr Pants said with dangerous emphasis.
      "Oh, rather, sir. I'd much sooner walk to London Town than ride in one of those motorcars we've heard tell of, sir."

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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