rather

[ adverb rath-er, rah-th er; interjection rath-ur, rah-th ur ]
/ adverb ˈræð ər, ˈrɑ ðər; interjection ˈræðˈɜr, ˈrɑˈðɜr /

adverb

interjection

Chiefly British. emphatically yes; assuredly; without doubt: Is the book worth reading?Rather!

Idioms

    had/would rather, to prefer that or to: I had much rather we not stay. We would rather go for dinner after the show.Compare soon(def 8).

Origin of rather

before 900; Middle English; Old English hrathor, comparative of hræth quick, rathe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for had rather

rather

/ (ˈrɑːðə) /

adverb (in senses 1-4, not used with a negative)

sentence connector

on the contraryit's not cold. Rather, it's very hot indeed

sentence substitute (ˈrɑːˈðɜː)

an expression of strong affirmation, often in answer to a questionIs it worth seeing? Rather!

Word Origin for rather

Old English hrathor comparative of hræth ready, quick; related to Old Norse hrathr

usage

Both would and had are used with rather in sentences such as I would rather (or had rather) go to the film than to the play. Had rather is less common and is now widely regarded as slightly old-fashioned
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with had rather (1 of 2)

had rather


Also, had sooner. Would prefer. For example, I had rather you let me do the driving, or He'd sooner switch than fight. This idiom today is often replaced by would rather. [Late 1500s] Also see just as soon.

Idioms and Phrases with had rather (2 of 2)

rather


see had rather.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.