Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “rather”

See all translations

rather

adverb uk   /ˈrɑː.ðər/ us    /ˈræð.ɚ/

rather adverb (SMALL AMOUNT)

B1 quite; to a slight degree: It's rather cold today, isn't it? That's rather a difficult book - here's an easier one for you. The train was rather too crowded for a comfortable journey. She answered the phone rather sleepily. I rather doubt I'll be able to come to your party.
More examples

rather adverb (MORE EXACTLY)

B2 more accurately; more exactly: She'll go to London on Thursday, or rather, she will if she has to. He's my sister's friend really, rather than mine. used to express an opposite opinion: The ending of the war is not a cause for celebration, but rather for regret that it ever happened. No, I'm not tired. Rather the opposite in fact.
More examples

rather adverb (PREFERENCE)

rather than
More examples
B1 instead of; used especially when you prefer one thing to another: I think I'd like to stay at home this evening rather than go out.

rather

rather

(Definition of rather from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of rather?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “rather” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

be as cold as ice

to be extremely cold

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More