rarefy

[rair-uh-fahy]
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verb (used with object), rar·e·fied, rar·e·fy·ing.
  1. to make rare or rarer; make less dense: to rarefy a gas.
  2. to make more refined, spiritual, or exalted.
verb (used without object), rar·e·fied, rar·e·fy·ing.
  1. to become rare or less dense; become thinned: Moisture rarefies when heated.

Origin of rarefy

1350–1400; Middle English rarefien < Middle French rarefier < Latin rārēfacere, equivalent to rārē-, combining form of rārus rare1 (for expected rāri-; orig. of -ē- unclear) + facere to make; see -fy
Related formsrar·e·fi·a·ble, adjectiverar·e·fi·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for rarefy

rarefy

verb -fies, -fying or -fied
  1. to make or become rarer or less dense; thin out
Derived Formsrarefiable, adjectiverarefier, noun

Word Origin for rarefy

C14: from Old French raréfier, from Latin rārēfacere, from rārus rare 1 + facere to make
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

Word Origin and History for rarefy
v.

late 14c., from Old French rarefier (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin rarificare, from Latin rarefacere "make rare," from rarus "rare, thin" (see rare (adj.1)) + facere "to make" (see factitious). Related: Rarefied.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper