Simple Definition of rarefied
: understood by only a small group of people : only for people who know about a particular thing
of air : not having much oxygen because of being high up in the atmosphere
Full Definition of rarefied
1 : being less dense
2 : of, relating to, or interesting to a select group : esoteric
3 : very high
Examples of rarefied in a sentence
It's difficult to breathe in the rarefied air near the mountain's peak.
Did You Know?
Rarefied was formed from the verb "rarefy," which derives from a combination of Latin rarus ("thin" or "rare") with "facere" ("to make") and has meant "to make thin" since the 14th century. In its original uses back in the 1600s, the adjective "rarefied" was on the lean side too; it meant "made less dense" (as in "the fog lifted and we could breathe more easily in the rarefied air"). By the 16th century, "rarefy" had gained the sense "to refine or purify." Over time "rarefied" followed suit; by the 1940s it was being used to mean "only for the select."
First Known Use of rarefied
Variants of rarefied
Seen and Heard
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