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

Definition for rather (2 of 2)

rathe

[ reyth ]
/ reɪð /

adjective

Archaic. growing, blooming, or ripening early in the year or season.

Also rath [rath] /ræθ/.

Origin of rathe

before 900; Middle English; Old English hræth, hræd quick, active; cognate with Dutch rad, Old Norse hrathr

Related forms

rathe·ly, adverbrathe·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rather

British Dictionary definitions for rather (1 of 2)

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

British Dictionary definitions for rather (2 of 2)

rathe

rath (rɑːθ)

/ (reɪð) /

adjective archaic, or literary

blossoming or ripening early in the season
eager or prompt

Word Origin for rathe

Old English hrathe; related to Old High German hrado, Old Norse hrathr
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 rather

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.