• (obsolete) Prior; earlier; former.


  • (conjunctive) Used to introduce a contradiction; on the contrary. [from 14th c.]

    "It wasn't supposed to be popular; rather, it was supposed to get the job done."

  • Used to specify a choice or preference; preferably. (Always with would - normally contracted to 'd). (Now usually followed by than) [from 9th c.]

    "I'd rather stay in all day than go out with them."

  • (degree) Somewhat, fairly. [from 16th c.]

    "This melon is rather tasteless."

  • (obsolete) More quickly; sooner, earlier. [9th-19th c.]
  • (conjunctive) Introducing a qualification or clarification; more precisely. (Now usually preceded by or.) [from 15th c.]

    "I didn't want to leave. Or rather I did, just not alone."


  • (England, dated) An enthusiastic affirmation.


  • (nonstandard or dialectal) To prefer; to prefer to.

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