rare·​ly | \ ˈrer-lē How to pronounce rarely (audio) \

Definition of rarely

1 : not often : seldom
2 : with rare skill : excellently
3 : in an extreme or exceptional manner

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Synonyms & Antonyms for rarely



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Examples of rarely in a Sentence

She rarely talks about her past. Rarely do we see this kind of weather in our area. Only rarely is surgery necessary to treat this condition.
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Recent Examples on the Web Request a Temporary Consulting Gig Businesses rarely let management candidates attend meetings and gain close looks at how key players operate. Joann S. Lublin, WSJ, "Considering a New Job? Beware a Culture Misfit.," 15 Jan. 2020 The 32-page document cites the Ku Klux Klan Act, a rarely used law passed soon after the Civil War. CBS News, "St. Louis chief prosecutor accuses city of racist efforts, citing Ku Klux Klan Act," 14 Jan. 2020 There have been several changes along the way, but one constant for Stephen Peter, now in his 28th year as the boys’ head soccer coach at Friendswood High School, is that his energy level has rarely wavered. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "Boys’ soccer: Friendswood’s Stephen Peter earns Hall of Honor induction," 13 Jan. 2020 Banga rarely mentions cards, the ubiquitous pieces of plastic issued by his banking customers. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Mastercard Isn’t Just a Credit Card Company, According to its CEO," 13 Jan. 2020 In the other corner, statisticians argue that clarity should rarely be sacrificed in the name of novelty or entertainment. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "Designers and statisticians disagree on what makes a good information graphic," 12 Jan. 2020 Performance photographs are rarely thought of as having the interpretive, authorial voice of powerful reportage, portraiture, or other photographic genres. Melissa Harris, The New York Review of Books, "‘That Single Fleeting Moment’: Merce Cunningham in Images," 11 Jan. 2020 Recent history also suggests a broad political consensus in the rest of India over Kashmir: Political parties, media, and a predominant majority rarely protest against the blackout in Kashmir. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "With an eerie calm, Kashmir watches the “Kashmirisation” of India," 9 Jan. 2020 At the other end of the spectrum, kumquats and calamondin are most tolerant of the cold and rarely need to be covered. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "Backyard fruit trees in San Antonio: What you need to know," 9 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rarely.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rarely

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for rarely

Time Traveler

The first known use of rarely was in 1549

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Statistics for rarely

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rarely.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rarely. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for rarely


How to pronounce rarely (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rarely

: not very often


rare·​ly | \ ˈrer-lē How to pronounce rarely (audio) \

Kids Definition of rarely

: not often I rarely go.

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More from Merriam-Webster on rarely

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rarely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rarely

Spanish Central: Translation of rarely

Nglish: Translation of rarely for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rarely for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rarely

What made you want to look up rarely? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a feeling of well-being or elation

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