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 There are several good reasons that ordering a quarantine is something that U.S. public health officials rarely do. Time, "The U.S. Government Is Quarantining More Than 800 Americans. Here's Why That Very Rarely Happens," 7 Feb. 2020 As parents pursuing their dream with minimal margin for error, actors Steven Yeun and Han Ye-ri create nuanced, unforgettable characters, representing an America rarely seen on the big screen. TheWeek, "reckons with the streaming revolution," 7 Feb. 2020 Co-founded 35 years ago by her parents, Cora Cardona and Jeff Hurst, the company has specialized in bringing rarely seen Latin American political plays to Dallas. Manuel Mendoza, Dallas News, "Arab-futurism, belly dancers, drummers and paper sculptures — Teatro Dallas’ International Festival is back," 16 Jan. 2020 The government regularly tracks malware and vulnerabilities, but rarely do consumer apps rise to the level of a cyber alert. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "This Firefox vulnerability is so bad, the U.S. government is urging users to patch it immediately," 10 Jan. 2020 The endorsements of experts rarely do much to sway voters. Susan Page, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: With 218 foreign policy endorsements, Buttigieg targets a big Biden asset," 23 Dec. 2019 Part of the scorn with which dubbing is treated in the Anglophone world is down to the fact that dubbing into English has rarely been done well. The Economist, "Dubbing is coming to a small screen near you," 21 Dec. 2019 In her day, the big museums rarely did American contemporary art shows. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Edith Halpert and American Modernism," 14 Dec. 2019 Rodrigo simmers with anger through much of the action, but mostly keeps a grip on his feelings, exploding only rarely and never thinking through the consequences of his actions. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Summer White' ('Blanco de Verano'): Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rarely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rarely?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=r&file=rarely01. Accessed 20 Feb. 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

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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

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