Dictionary

rather

adverb rath·er \ˈra-thər, ˈrä-, ˈrə- also ˈre-; interjectionally ˈra-ˈthər, ˈrä-, ˈrə-\

: to some degree or extent

—used to introduce a statement that indicates what is true after you have said what is not true

—used to introduce a statement that corrects what you have just said

Full Definition of RATHER

1
:  with better reason or more propriety :  more properly <this you should pity rather than despise — Shakespeare>
2
:  more readily or willingly :  preferably <I'd rather not go> <would rather read than watch television> —often used interjectionally to express affirmation
3
:  more correctly speaking <my father, or rather my stepfather>
4
:  to the contrary :  instead <was no better but rather grew worse — Mark 5:26 (Revised Standard Version)>
5
:  in some degree :  somewhat <it's rather warm> —often used as a mild intensive <spent rather a lot of money>
the rather
archaic :  the more quickly or readily

Examples of RATHER

  1. The movie is a comedy, but rather a dull one.
  2. I think the children watch rather too much television.
  3. It rather annoyed me that he was late picking me up.

Origin of RATHER

Middle English, from Old English hrathor, comparative of hrathe quickly; akin to Old High German rado quickly, Old English hræd quick
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with RATHER

THE RATHER Defined for Kids

rather

adverb rath·er \ˈra-thər\

Definition of RATHER for Kids

1
:  2somewhat <It's a rather cold day.>
2
:  more willingly <I would rather stay home.>
3
:  more correctly or truly <It's just ten minutes away, or rather nine and a half.>
4
:  instead <The meals were not better but rather worse.>

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: ratheripe (adjective)Previous Word in the Dictionary: ratheAll Words Near: rather
July 02, 2015
apprehension Hear it
comprehension or the fear of future evil
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears