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:

The museum is full of rare and precious treasures.
[ + to infinitive ] It's very rare to find these birds in New England in winter.
It's very rare to find someone who combines such qualities.

More examples

  • They mainly deal in rare books.
  • The coast here abounds with rare plants.
  • Talent like hers is rare in someone so young.
  • The word itself is so rare as to be almost obsolete.
  • He has a collection of rare insect specimens.
rareness
noun [ U ] /ˈreə.nəs/ /ˈrer.nəs/

The main attraction of this butterfly is its rareness.

(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 occasions disappointment shows 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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