What does Rather mean?

Definitions for Rather
ˈræð ər, ˈrɑ ðərRather

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Rather.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. rather, insteadadverb

    on the contrary

    "rather than disappoint the children, he did two quick tricks before he left"; "he didn't call; rather (or instead), he wrote her a letter"; "used English terms instead of Latin ones"

  2. rather, kind of, kinda, sort ofadverb

    to some (great or small) extent

    "it was rather cold"; "the party was rather nice"; "the knife is rather dull"; "I rather regret that I cannot attend"; "He's rather good at playing the cello"; "he is kind of shy"

  3. preferably, sooner, ratheradverb

    more readily or willingly

    "clean it well, preferably with warm water"; "I'd rather be in Philadelphia"; "I'd sooner die than give up"

  4. quite, ratheradverb

    to a degree (not used with a negative)

    "quite tasty"; "quite soon"; "quite ill"; "quite rich"


  1. ratherverb

    To prefer; to prefer to.

  2. ratheradverb

    More quickly; sooner, earlier.

  3. ratheradverb

    Used to specify a choice or preference; preferably.

  4. ratheradverb

    Used to introduce a contradiction; on the contrary.

  5. ratheradverb

    Introducing a qualification or clarification; more precisely. (Now usually preceded by or.)

  6. ratheradverb

    Somewhat, fairly.

  7. Etymology: From rather, rether, from hraþor, comparative of hraþe, equivalent to. More at rathe.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Ratheradverb

    Now out of use.

    Etymology: this is a comparative from rath; rað , Saxon, soon.

    Almighty God desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his wickedness and live. Common Prayer.

    ’Tis rather to be thought, that an heir had no such right by divine institution, than that God should give such a right, but yet leave it undeterminate who such heir is. John Locke.

    He sought through the world, but sought in vain,
    And no where finding, rather fear’d her slain. Dryden.

    This is an art,
    Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
    The art itself is nature. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    You are come to me in a happy time,
    The rather for I have some sport in hand. William Shakespeare.

    ’Tis with reluctancy he is provoked by our impenitence to apply the discipline of severity and correction; he had rather mankind should adore him as their patron and benefactor. John Rogers, Sermons.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ratheradjective

    prior; earlier; former

  2. Ratheradjective

    earlier; sooner; before

  3. Ratheradjective

    more readily or willingly; preferably

  4. Ratheradjective

    on the other hand; to the contrary of what was said or suggested; instead

  5. Ratheradjective

    of two alternatives conceived of, this by preference to, or as more likely than, the other; somewhat

  6. Ratheradjective

    more properly; more correctly speaking

  7. Ratheradjective

    in some degree; somewhat; as, the day is rather warm; the house is rather damp

  8. Etymology: [Compar. of Rath, a.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Rather

    räth′ėr, adv. more willingly: in preference: especially: more so than otherwise: on the contrary: somewhat, in some degree: more properly: (coll.) considerably, very much.—adj. Rath′erish, to a slight degree, somewhat.—Rather better than, somewhat in excess of.—The rather, by so much the more. [A.S. hrathor, comp. of hrathe, early.]

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Rather' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #444

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Rather' in Written Corpus Frequency: #442

  3. Adverbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Rather' in Adverbs Frequency: #61

How to pronounce Rather?

How to say Rather in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Rather in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Rather in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of Rather in a Sentence

  1. Karim Sadr:

    It was only in 2016 after poring over all of that detailed imagery that I eventually realized that the homesteads are not a scatter of villages but parts of one entity; a city, rather than a dispersion of homesteads.

  2. Sipho P Nkosi:

    I settle on solitary life rather than social events.

  3. Rory Trahair:

    We've launched yachts in the last few years that have multiple pools, helipads, a squash court. There are few things now a yacht can't have, whereas a jacuzzi was a luxury in the early 2000s, now if you've got just one, it's rather frowned upon. You need to have a few and you need to have an infinity plunge pool that doubles as a helipad.

  4. The FBI informant:

    He waged a tougher war against Muslims. It is your paradise, rather, slaughter.

  5. Christopher Grundler:

    What matters to the EPA is compliance where the spirit of laws is respected rather than just the text of the law. I absolutely want to hear from VW what their efforts to this end look like and how they make sure that such a thing (like the emissions scandal) will never happen again.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Rather

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for Rather »


Find a translation for the Rather definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these Rather definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "Rather." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 5 Oct. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Rather>.

    Are we missing a good definition for Rather? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    having a build with little fat or muscle but with long limbs
    • A. contagious
    • B. contiguous
    • C. arbitrary
    • D. ectomorphic

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for Rather: