(adjective, verb, adverb, interjection)


1. (obsolete) Prior; earlier; former.


1. on the contrary

- rather than disappoint the children, he did two quick tricks before he left

- he didn't call; rather (or instead), he wrote her a letter

Similar word(s): instead

2. to some (great or small) extent

- it was rather cold

- the party was rather nice

- the knife is rather dull

Similar word(s): kinda

3. more readily or willingly

- I'd rather be in Philadelphia

Similar word(s): preferably, sooner

4. to a degree (not used with a negative)

Similar word(s): quite

Sentences with rather as an adverb:

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

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

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

- This melon is rather tasteless.


1. (England, dated) An enthusiastic affirmation.


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