1

rare

adjective \ ˈrer \

Definition of rare

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

rareness

noun

Origin and Etymology of rare

Middle English, from Latin rarus

Synonym Discussion of rare

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

2

rare

adjective

Definition of rare

rarer; rarest
: cooked so that the inside is still red
  • rare roast beef

Origin and Etymology of rare

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



RARE Defined for Kids

1

rare

adjective \ ˈrer \

Definition of rare for Students

rarer; rarest
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.

Synonym Discussion of rare

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.

2

rare

adjective

Definition of rare for Students

rarer; rarest
: cooked so that the inside is still red
  • rare roast beef


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