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.

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. Mwanandeke Kindembo:

    We are now living in the generation of bodybuilders, rather than walking amongst of those who are ready, or well prepared to conquer their daily desires.

  2. Lionel Top:

    The children are coming back today (a small part of them rather). Very strange, even disturbing atmosphere, the children play, dance, jump, laugh together ... but from this square.

  3. Mark Naison:

    That was Barack Obama one chance to win over the low - and moderate-income whites that are deeply suspicious of Barack Obama, barack Obama could have won over whites with a New Deal jobs program rather than a health care act.

  4. Shaun Richman:

    Democrats would rather raise money on Republican atrocities than change them

  5. Barbara Bush:

    When push comes to shove, people are going to realize Jeb has real solutions. Rather than talking about how popular they are, how great they are, he's doing it because he sees a huge need and it's not being filled by anybody, of all the people running, he seems to be the one who can solve the problems. I think he'll be a great president.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for rather

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    assist or encourage, usually in some wrongdoing
    • A. huff
    • B. flub
    • C. excogitate
    • D. abet

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