Definitions for rather
ˈræð ər, ˈrɑ ðərrather
This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word rather.
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"
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"
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"
to a degree (not used with a negative)
"quite tasty"; "quite soon"; "quite ill"; "quite rich"
To prefer; to prefer to.
More quickly; sooner, earlier.
Used to specify a choice or preference; preferably.
Used to introduce a contradiction; on the contrary.
Introducing a qualification or clarification; more precisely. (Now usually preceded by or.)
Etymology: From rather, rether, from hraþor, comparative of hraþe, equivalent to. More at rathe.
Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
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.
Rather can be used as an adverb to mean "more willingly" or "to a higher degree" in comparison to something else. It can also be used to express preference or choice, indicating a preference for one option over another. Additionally, it can be used to indicate hesitation or doubt in a statement or to introduce a contrasting or unexpected idea.
prior; earlier; former
earlier; sooner; before
more readily or willingly; preferably
on the other hand; to the contrary of what was said or suggested; instead
of two alternatives conceived of, this by preference to, or as more likely than, the other; somewhat
more properly; more correctly speaking
in some degree; somewhat; as, the day is rather warm; the house is rather damp
Etymology: [Compar. of Rath, a.]
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
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.]
Surnames Frequency by Census Records
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Rather is ranked #15309 in terms of the most common surnames in America.
The Rather surname appeared 1,917 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Rather.
72.4% or 1,388 total occurrences were White.
17.5% or 336 total occurrences were Black.
4.6% or 89 total occurrences were Asian.
2.8% or 55 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
2.2% or 43 total occurrences were of two or more races.
0.3% or 6 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'rather' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #444
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'rather' in Written Corpus Frequency: #442
Rank popularity for the word 'rather' in Adverbs Frequency: #61
The numerical value of rather in Chaldean Numerology is: 1
The numerical value of rather in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7
I think getting eyes on the damage in person rather than reading about it, rather than hearing about it, rather than seeing it on TV is really important, because this is going to be a marathon, and we’re going to need a lot of help from our federal partners for a long time to come. And we need some of that help immediately.
There was a casual conversation about the 170 ventilators that came from the national stockpile directly to LA County, the conversation wasn't just about those 170, it was about the fact those 170 were not working, and rather than lamenting about it, rather than complaining about it, rather than pointing fingers, rather than generating headlines in order to generate more stress and anxiety, we got a car, and a truck, and we had those 170 brought here to this facility at 8 a.m. this morning.
They are taxed on the value of the product as it is sold, rather than on any particular amount of alcohol it has in it, so the people who are making the expensive stuff are taxed at a higher rate, and if they don’t make the cheap stuff as well, they feel that they’re being treated rather badly.
I would rather be ashes than dust I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
You may not know where you're going to fight or when you're going to fight. Therefore you need to focus on your readiness, being ready to fight sooner rather than later. Days rather than weeks.
Popularity rank by frequency of use
Translations for rather
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- повече, скоро, достаBulgarian
- preferiblement, força, bastantCatalan, Valencian
- spíše, spíš, radějiCzech
- eithaf, mwy, yn hytrachWelsh
- eher, lieber, ziemlichGerman
- pli ĝusteEsperanto
- más bien, algo, bastante, preferiblementeSpanish
- pikemminkin, tarkemmin sanottuna, mieluummin, vaan, aika, melkoFinnish
- nokkso, rættiligaFaroese
- preferibilmente, meglio, piuttosto, abbastanzaItalian
- 寧ろ, 一層, むしろ, かなりJapanese
- gluži, diezganLatvian
- nogal, meer, liever, eerderDutch
- ganske, fortrinnsvis, heller, nokså, temmeligNorwegian
- bastante, preferivelmente, um tanto, de preferência, bem, meioPortuguese
- лучше, скорее, довольноRussian
- rätt, helst, ganska, hellreSwedish
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"rather." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/rather>.