rare·​ly ˈrer-lē How to pronounce rarely (audio)
: not often : seldom
: with rare skill : excellently
: in an extreme or exceptional manner

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Doja Cat has rarely turned in an uninteresting or unprovocative performance, and her headlining set Sunday night at Coachella offered a plethora of looks and concepts designed to prompt dazzlement and debate among the viewing audience. Chris Willman, Variety, 15 Apr. 2024 At those events, even if Biden administration officials are present, Davids rarely talks about Biden himself. Daniel Desrochers, Kansas City Star, 15 Apr. 2024 And his keyboard work was rarely less than sparkling. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Apr. 2024 The promise of such generous student debt relief was dismissed as pandering by some, but in politics there are rarely any points given for subtlety. Ron Elving, NPR, 13 Apr. 2024 This committee is independent, and CDC then decides upon (although rarely diverges from) these recommendations. Tom Frieden, STAT, 11 Apr. 2024 While trips to the airport are rarely pleasant, this lightweight carryall tote makes the process as convenient as possible. Averi Baudler, Peoplemag, 11 Apr. 2024 Calls to the Police The abuse left Nicole Simpson bruised and terrified on scores of occasions, but the police rarely took substantive action. Robert D. McFadden, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2024 Rodrigo embraces distortion, but rarely outright abrasiveness, which The Breeders tend to mix into even their sweetest, poppiest confections. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, 9 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rarely.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rarely was in 1549

Dictionary Entries Near rarely

Cite this Entry

“Rarely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rarely. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


rare·​ly ˈra(ə)r-lē How to pronounce rarely (audio)
: not often : seldom

More from Merriam-Webster on rarely

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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