rare Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “rare” in the English Dictionary

"rare" in British English

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rareadjective

uk   /reər/  us   /rer/
  • rare adjective (NOT COMMON)

B1 not ​common; very ​unusual: a rare ​disease/​species The ​museum is ​full of rare and ​precioustreasures. a rare ​occasion/​opportunity/​visit/​treat, etc. [+ to infinitive] It's very rare tofind these ​birds in New ​England in ​winter. It's very rare to ​find someone who ​combines such ​qualities.

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  • rare adjective (OF AIR)

used to ​describe the ​air at the ​top of a ​mountain, which ​contains less oxygen, making it ​harder to ​breathe
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(Definition of rare from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"rare" in American English

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rareadjective

 us   /reər/
  • rare adjective (NOT COMMON)

not ​common and ​therefore sometimes ​valuable: rare ​species of ​birds Success like that is ​extremely rare. She’s usually ​positive, but on rare ​occasionsdisappointmentshows through. With rare ​exceptions, the ​families in this ​town have ​lived here for ​generations.
  • rare adjective (SLIGHTLY COOKED)

[-er/-est only] (esp. of ​meat) not ​cooked for very ​long and still ​red inside: rare ​steak
(Definition of rare from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“rare” in American English

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