Dictionary

1rare

adjective \ˈrer\
rar·errar·est

Definition of RARE

1
:  marked by wide separation of component particles :  thin <rare air>
2
a :  marked by unusual quality, merit, or appeal :  distinctive
b :  superlative or extreme of its kind
3
:  seldom occurring or found :  uncommon
rare·ness noun
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Origin of RARE

Middle English, from Latin rarus
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of RARE

choice, option, alternative, preference, selection, election mean the act or opportunity of choosing or the thing chosen. choice suggests the opportunity or privilege of choosing freely <freedom of choice>. option implies a power to choose that is specifically granted or guaranteed <the option of paying now or later>. alternative implies a need to choose one and reject another possibility <equally attractive alternatives>. preference suggests a choice guided by one's judgment or predilections <a preference for cool weather>. selection implies a range of choice <a varied selection of furniture>. election implies an end or purpose which requires exercise of judgment <doing a tax return forces certain elections on you>.

choice, exquisite, elegant, rare, delicate, dainty mean having qualities that appeal to a cultivated taste. choice stresses preeminence in quality or kind <choice fabric>. exquisite implies a perfection in workmanship or design that appeals only to very sensitive taste <an exquisite gold bracelet>. elegant applies to what is rich and luxurious but restrained by good taste <a sumptuous but elegant dining room>. rare suggests an uncommon excellence <rare beauty>. delicate implies exquisiteness, subtlety, and fragility <delicate craftsmanship>. dainty sometimes carries an additional suggestion of smallness and of appeal to the eye or palate <dainty sandwiches>.

infrequent, uncommon, scarce, rare, sporadic mean not common or abundant. infrequent implies occurrence at wide intervals in space or time <infrequent family visits>. uncommon suggests a frequency below normal expectation <smallpox is now uncommon in many countries>. scarce implies falling short of a standard or required abundance <jobs were scarce during the Depression>. rare suggests extreme scarcity or infrequency and often implies consequent high value <rare first editions>. sporadic implies occurrence in scattered instances or isolated outbursts <sporadic cases of influenza>.

2rare

adjective
rar·errar·est

Definition of RARE

:  cooked so that the inside is still red <rare roast beef>

Origin of RARE

alteration of earlier rere, from Middle English, from Old English hrēre boiled lightly; akin to Old English hrēran to stir, Old High German hruoren
First Known Use: 1784
RARENESS Defined for Kids

1rare

adjective \ˈrer\
rar·errar·est

Definition of RARE for Kids

1
:  very uncommon <rare old coins> <The world is full of talkers, but it is rare to find anyone who listens. — E. B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan>
2
:  very fine :  excellent <a rare June day>
3
:  not thick or compact :  thin <The atmosphere is rare at high altitudes.>

Synonym Discussion of RARE

rare, scarce, and uncommon mean being in short supply. rare is usually used for an object or quality of which only a few examples are to be found and which is therefore especially appreciated. <He found a rare gem.> scarce is used for something that for a while is in short supply. <Food was scarce that winter.> uncommon can be used of anything which is not often found, but usually there is no suggestion that more is desired or needed. <Identical twins are uncommon.>

2rare

adjective
rar·errar·est

Definition of RARE for Kids

:  cooked so that the inside is still red <rare roast beef>

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