rather


rather
[[t]rɑ͟ːðə(r), ræ̱ð-[/t]]
1) PHR-PREP You use rather than when you are contrasting two things or situations. Rather than introduces the thing or situation that is not true or that you do not want.

The problem was psychological rather than physiological...

Sedge is similar in appearance to grass but has a solid rather than a hollow stem...

The dark star in Nova Muscae 1991 is a black hole rather than a neutron star...

When I'm going out in the evening I use the bike if I can rather than the car.

PHR-CONJ-SUBORD
Rather is also a conjunction.

Rather than break her appointment and disappoint me, Katie again took the car... She made students think for themselves, rather than telling them what to think... I suggest that rather than the show season starting in June, it should be brought forward to April or May... Most of these will be fleeing cold and hunger, rather than fighting... She prefers to stay in detention rather than be released and go into exile.

2) ADV: ADV with cl/group You use rather when you are correcting something that you have just said, especially when you are describing a particular situation after saying what it is not.

Twenty million years ago, Idaho was not the arid place it is now. Rather, it was warm and damp, populated by dense primordial forest...

But there must be no talk of final victory; rather, the long, hard slog to a solution...

The process is not a circle but rather a spiral...

He explained what the Crux is, or rather, what it was.

3) PHR-MODAL If you say that you would rather do something or you'd rather do it, you mean that you would prefer to do it. If you say that you would rather not do something, you mean that you do not want to do it.

[MODAL inf] If it's all the same to you, I'd rather work at home...

[MODAL inf] Which programme would you rather appear on?...

[MODAL inf than inf] Kids would rather play than study...

[MODAL that] I have no information one way or the other, but I would rather he do it than not do it...

[MODAL that] I would rather Lionel took it on...

[MODAL not inf] Sorry. I'd rather not talk about it...

[MODAL not] Would you like that? Don't hesitate to say no if you'd rather not.

4) ADV: ADV adj/adv, ADV a n, ADV compar, ADV too adj/adv, ADV prep You use rather to indicate that something is true to a fairly great extent, especially when you are talking about something unpleasant or undesirable.

I grew up in rather unusual circumstances...

It had made some rather bad mistakes which I thought should be corrected...

He had had an excellent dinner at a rather good local hotel...

The first speaker began to talk, very fast and rather loudly...

We got along rather well...

I'm afraid it's rather a long story...

The reality is rather more complex...

As you can see, he did rather better for himself than I did.

...a figure rather too good to be true...

The fruit is rather like a sweet chestnut...

Robbie was there with his family, keeping rather in the background.

5) ADV: ADV before v You use rather before verbs that introduce your thoughts and feelings, in order to express your opinion politely, especially when a different opinion has been expressed.

I rather think he was telling the truth...

I rather like the decorative effect.

6) CONVENTION People sometimes say rather to express agreement or acceptance. [BRIT, mainly FORMAL, OLD-FASHIONED]

`Well, he did have a sort of family connection with it, didn't he.' - `Oh yes. Rather.'


English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • rather — 1. Rather is common in BrE as a so called ‘downtoner’, i.e. an adverb that reduces the effect of the following adjective, adverb, or noun, as in It is rather expensive, You were driving rather fast, and He s rather a fool. With nouns, the… …   Modern English usage

  • Rather — Rath er (r[a^][th] [ e]r; 277), adv. [AS. hra[eth]or, compar. of hra[eth]e, hr[ae][eth]e, quickly, immediately. See {Rath}, a.] [1913 Webster] 1. Earlier; sooner; before. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Thou shalt, quod he, be rather false than I. Chaucer …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rather — [rath′ər, räth′ər; ] for interj. [ ra′thʉr′, rä′thʉr′] adv. [ME < OE hrathor, compar. of hrathe, hræthe, quickly: see RATHE] 1. Obs. more quickly; sooner 2. more willingly; preferably [would you rather have tea?] 3. with more justice, logic,… …   English World dictionary

  • Rather — is a family name. It is also an adverb in the English language.Rather may refer to:* Dan Rather, news presenter * Elizabeth Rather, expert in the computer programming language Forthsurname …   Wikipedia

  • rather — ► ADVERB 1) (would rather) indicating one s preference in a particular matter. 2) to a certain or significant extent or degree. 3) on the contrary. 4) more precisely. 5) instead of; as opposed to. ► EXCLAMATION Brit. dated …   English terms dictionary

  • Rather — ist der Name folgender Personen: Rather von Verona (um 887 974), Theologe und Bischof von Verona und Lüttich Dan Rather (* 1931), US amerikanischer Journalist Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rather — [adv1] moderately a bit, a little, averagely, comparatively, enough, fairly, in a certain degree, kind of, more or less, passably, pretty, quite, ratherish, reasonably, relatively, slightly, some, something, somewhat, sort of, so so*, tolerably,… …   New thesaurus

  • Rather — Rath er (r[a^][th] [ e]r), a. [Compar. of {Rath}, a.] Prior; earlier; former. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Now no man dwelleth at the rather town. Sir J. Mandeville. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rather — O.E. hraþor more quickly, earlier, sooner, also more readily, comparative of hraþe, hræþe quickly, related to hræð quick, from P.Gmc. *khrathuz (Cf. O.N. hraðr, O.H.G. hrad). The base form rathe was obsolete by 18c. except in poetry; superlative… …   Etymology dictionary

  • rather — predeterminer, adverb 1 (+ adj/adv) quite; fairly: I was rather surprised to see him with his ex wife. | He was limping rather badly as he walked off the field. | It s not too big for you at all. I rather like the way it fits you. | rather a big… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English


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