adjective (1)
\ ˈrer How to pronounce rare (audio) \
rarer; rarest

Definition of rare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


adjective (2)
rarer; rarest

Definition of rare (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from rare

Adjective (1)

rareness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for rare

Adjective (1)

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


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.

First Known Use of rare

Adjective (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Adjective (2)

1784, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rare

Adjective (1)

Middle English, from Latin rarus

Adjective (2)

alteration of earlier rere, from Middle English, from Old English hrēre boiled lightly; akin to Old English hrēran to stir, Old High German hruoren

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Time Traveler for rare

Time Traveler

The first known use of rare was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Rare.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rare?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=r&file=rare0001. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for rare

\ ˈrer How to pronounce rare (audio) \
rarer; rarest

Kids Definition of rare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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.
rarer; rarest

Kids Definition of rare (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on rare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rare

Spanish Central: Translation of rare

Nglish: Translation of rare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rare for Arabic Speakers

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