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, instead(adverb)

    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 of(adverb)

    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, rather(adverb)

    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, rather(adverb)

    to a degree (not used with a negative)

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


  1. rather(Verb)

    To prefer; to prefer to.

  2. rather(Adverb)

    More quickly; sooner, earlier.

  3. rather(Adverb)

    Used to specify a choice or preference; preferably.

  4. rather(Adverb)

    Used to introduce a contradiction; on the contrary.

  5. rather(Adverb)

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

  6. rather(Adverb)

    Somewhat, fairly.

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

Webster Dictionary

  1. Rather(adj)

    prior; earlier; former

  2. Rather(adj)

    earlier; sooner; before

  3. Rather(adj)

    more readily or willingly; preferably

  4. Rather(adj)

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

  5. Rather(adj)

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

  6. Rather(adj)

    more properly; more correctly speaking

  7. Rather(adj)

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

  8. Origin: [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?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say rather in sign language?

  1. rather


  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. Bob Iger:

    I rather doubt we will.

  2. Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

    It was a rather bumpy ride.

  3. Alter Wiener:

    Be better, rather than bitter.

  4. Lefty Gomez:

    I'd rather be lucky than good.

  5. Teri Mastando:

    We were rather surprised by it.

Images & Illustrations of rather

  1. ratherratherratherratherrather

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for rather

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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