rather

adverb
rath·​er | \ ˈra-t͟hər How to pronounce rather (audio) , ˈrä-, ˈrə- also ˈre-; interjectionally ˈra-ˈt͟hər, ˈrä-, ˈrə- \

Definition of rather

1 : with better reason or more propriety : more properly this you should pity rather than despise— William Shakespeare
2 : more readily or willingly : preferably I'd rather not go would rather read than watch television often used interjectionally to express affirmation
3 : more correctly speaking my father, or rather my stepfather
4 : to the contrary : instead was no better but rather grew worse — Mark 5:26 (Revised Standard Version)
5 : in some degree : somewhat it's rather warm often used as a mild intensive spent rather a lot of money
the rather
archaic : the more quickly or readily

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Synonyms & Antonyms for rather

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of rather in a Sentence

The movie is a comedy, but rather a dull one. I think the children watch rather too much television. It rather annoyed me that he was late picking me up.
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Recent Examples on the Web That’s not a player or a coach, but rather the name of the tropical storm bearing down on Japan. Michael Lerseth, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 July 2021 When viewed this way, public health isn't just about the application of science and medicine, but rather an ongoing effort to win the hearts and minds of a community. Kirsi Goldynia, CNN, 26 July 2021 Many of the questions aren’t actually tied to him specifically but rather a general positional bias. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 26 July 2021 The officers have portrayed the hours-long siege as hardly a gathering of peaceful demonstrators, as some Republicans claim, but rather a violent mob trying to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election. Lisa Mascaro, ajc, 24 July 2021 Success doesn’t come through limiting ambition, but rather by pairing it to unflinching confidence and indefatigable work ethic. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 23 July 2021 The officers have portrayed the hours-long siege as hardly a gathering of peaceful demonstrators, as some Republicans claim, but rather a violent mob trying to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election. Lisa Mascaro, chicagotribune.com, 23 July 2021 Blood Harvest is not a gory slasher movie, but rather a psychological thrilled about a family who comes across hard times. Steve Smith, courant.com, 23 July 2021 The officers have portrayed the hours-long siege as hardly a gathering of peaceful demonstrators, as some Republicans claim, but rather a violent mob trying to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election. Lisa Mascaro, Star Tribune, 23 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rather.' 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 rather

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rather

Middle English, from Old English hrathor, comparative of hrathe quickly; akin to Old High German rado quickly, Old English hræd quick

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Time Traveler for rather

Time Traveler

The first known use of rather was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near rather

rathe

rather

ratheripe

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Statistics for rather

Last Updated

28 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rather.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rather. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for rather

rather

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of rather

: to some degree or extent
used to introduce a statement that indicates what is true after you have said what is not true
used to introduce a statement that corrects what you have just said

rather

adverb
rath·​er | \ ˈra-t͟hər How to pronounce rather (audio) \

Kids Definition of rather

1 : somewhat entry 2 It's a rather cold day.
2 : more willingly I would rather stay home.
3 : more correctly or truly It's just ten minutes away, or rather nine and a half.
4 : instead The meals were not better but rather worse.

More from Merriam-Webster on rather

Nglish: Translation of rather for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rather for Arabic Speakers

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