The rather
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.

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