Rather Rath"er (r[a^][th]"[~e]r; 277), adv. [AS. hra[eth]or, compar. of hra[eth]e, hr[ae][eth]e, quickly, immediately. See {Rath}, a.] [1913 Webster] 1. Earlier; sooner; before. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Thou shalt, quod he, be rather false than I. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

A good mean to come the rather to grace. --Foxe. [1913 Webster]

2. More readily or willingly; preferably. [1913 Webster]

My soul chooseth . . . death rather than my life. --Job vii. 15. [1913 Webster]

3. On the other hand; to the contrary of what was said or suggested; instead. [1913 Webster]

Was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. --Mark v. 26. [1913 Webster]

4. Of two alternatives conceived of, this by preference to, or as more likely than, the other; somewhat. [1913 Webster]

He sought throughout the world, but sought in vain, And nowhere finding, rather feared her slain. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

5. More properly; more correctly speaking. [1913 Webster]

This is an art Which does mend nature, change it rather, but The art itself is nature. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. In some degree; somewhat; as, the day is rather warm; the house is rather damp. [1913 Webster]

{The rather}, the more so; especially; for better reason; for particular cause. [1913 Webster]

You are come to me in happy time, The rather for I have some sport in hand. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Had rather}, or {Would rather}, prefer to; prefers to; as, he had rather, or would rather go than stay. ``I had rather speak five words with my understanding than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.'' --1 Cor. xiv. 19. See {Had rather}, under {Had}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • rather — 1. Rather is common in BrE as a so called ‘downtoner’, i.e. an adverb that reduces the effect of the following adjective, adverb, or noun, as in It is rather expensive, You were driving rather fast, and He s rather a fool. With nouns, the… …   Modern English usage

  • rather — [rath′ər, räth′ər; ] for interj. [ ra′thʉr′, rä′thʉr′] adv. [ME < OE hrathor, compar. of hrathe, hræthe, quickly: see RATHE] 1. Obs. more quickly; sooner 2. more willingly; preferably [would you rather have tea?] 3. with more justice, logic,… …   English World dictionary

  • Rather — is a family name. It is also an adverb in the English language.Rather may refer to:* Dan Rather, news presenter * Elizabeth Rather, expert in the computer programming language Forthsurname …   Wikipedia

  • rather — ► ADVERB 1) (would rather) indicating one s preference in a particular matter. 2) to a certain or significant extent or degree. 3) on the contrary. 4) more precisely. 5) instead of; as opposed to. ► EXCLAMATION Brit. dated …   English terms dictionary

  • Rather — ist der Name folgender Personen: Rather von Verona (um 887 974), Theologe und Bischof von Verona und Lüttich Dan Rather (* 1931), US amerikanischer Journalist Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rather — [adv1] moderately a bit, a little, averagely, comparatively, enough, fairly, in a certain degree, kind of, more or less, passably, pretty, quite, ratherish, reasonably, relatively, slightly, some, something, somewhat, sort of, so so*, tolerably,… …   New thesaurus

  • Rather — Rath er (r[a^][th] [ e]r), a. [Compar. of {Rath}, a.] Prior; earlier; former. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Now no man dwelleth at the rather town. Sir J. Mandeville. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rather — O.E. hraþor more quickly, earlier, sooner, also more readily, comparative of hraþe, hræþe quickly, related to hræð quick, from P.Gmc. *khrathuz (Cf. O.N. hraðr, O.H.G. hrad). The base form rathe was obsolete by 18c. except in poetry; superlative… …   Etymology dictionary

  • rather — [[t]rɑ͟ːðə(r), ræ̱ð [/t]] ♦ 1) PHR PREP You use rather than when you are contrasting two things or situations. Rather than introduces the thing or situation that is not true or that you do not want. The problem was psychological rather than… …   English dictionary

  • rather — predeterminer, adverb 1 (+ adj/adv) quite; fairly: I was rather surprised to see him with his ex wife. | He was limping rather badly as he walked off the field. | It s not too big for you at all. I rather like the way it fits you. | rather a big… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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