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rather

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
Happiness is not pleasure, it is victory.
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English

Etymology

Via Middle English from Old English hraþor

Pronunciation

Adverb

rather (not comparable)

Positive
rather

Comparative
not comparable

Superlative
none (absolute)

  1. Preferably.
    Often used with than, which introduces the less preferable alternative:
    I'd rather stay in all day than go out with them.
    I'd like this one rather than the other one.
  2. Somewhat, fairly.
    This melon is rather tasteless.
    This melon is rather tasteless, especially compared to the one we had last time.
  3. (dated) More, more of.

Usage notes

  • For sense 1 (preferably), would is nearly always contracted to 'd (see examples given above).
  • This is a non-descriptive qualifier, similar to quite and fairly and somewhat. It is used where a plain adjective needs to be modified, but cannot be qualified. When spoken, the meaning can vary with the tone of voice and stress. "He was rather big" can mean anything from "not small" to "huge" (meiosis with the stress on rather).

Translations

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