Meaning of “rate” in the English Dictionary

"rate" in English

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ratenoun [ C ]

uk /reɪt/ us /reɪt/

rate noun [ C ] (MEASURE)

B2 the speed at which something happens or changes, or the amount or number of times it happens or changes in a particular period:

Although she's recovering from her illness, her rate of progress is quite slow.
I told my assistants to work at their own rate.
The taxi was going at a tremendous rate.
The drug has a high success/failure rate.

More examples

rateverb [ T ]

uk /reɪt/ us /reɪt/

rate verb [ T ] (JUDGE)

C1 to judge the value or character of someone or something:

How do you rate him as a football player?
She is rated very highly by the people she works for.
informal "What do you think of her as a singer?" "I don't really rate her (= I do not think that she is very good)."
I rate cars as one of the worst polluters of the environment.
[ + obj + noun ] On a scale of one to ten, I'd rate his book a five.
Traffic accidents are so frequent that they don't rate a mention (= are not considered to be worth reporting) in the newspaper unless a lot of people are killed.
rate as sth

to be considered to be something of a particular quality:

That rates as the worst film I've ever seen.


uk / -reɪt/ us / -reɪt/

C1 used with words such as first, second, etc. to show how good you think something is:

His suggestions are always first-rate (= very good).
This company produces second/third-rate (= not very good) goods.

(Definition of “rate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"rate" in American English

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ratenoun [ C ]

us /reɪt/

rate noun [ C ] (MEASUREMENT)

a measurement of the speed at which something happens or changes, or the number of times it happens or changes, within a particular period:

the rate of change/decay
rates of digestion/oxygenation
We have relatively low unemployment rates these days.
If we improve studentsself-esteem, we could reduce the dropout rate.

rate noun [ C ] (PAYMENT)

an amount or level of payment:

Interest rates may rise soon.
Rental rates vary depending on the size of the car.


us /reɪt/

rate verb (VALUE)

to judge the value or worth of something:

[ T ] Half of those surveyed rated his work as good.
[ L ] The movie is rated R.
[ I ] Mark Twain has rated as an enduring author for 100 years.

disapproving If you say someone or something doesn’t rate, you mean the person or thing is of poor quality or not worth consideration.

(Definition of “rate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"rate" in Business English

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ratenoun [ C ]

uk /reɪt/ us

the speed at which something happens:

at a fast/slow/steady rate The economy grew at a slower rate in the third quarter than previously estimated.
an alarming/incredible/surprising rate The future of the channel is under threat after losing viewers and advertisers at an alarming rate.
cut/reduce/slow down the rate The dip in consumer spending was a key factor in slowing down the rate of growth in the economy.
double/increase/speed up the rate of sth
improve/maintain the rate of sth

the amount of something, or the number of times something happens in a particular period:

at a rate of 20%/100 a day, etc.
The group's business plan shows it growing at its current rate for the next five years.
rising/falling rate The report examines the reasons for the rising rate of personal bankruptcy.
unemployment/jobless rate Economists predict that the unemployment rate will continue to rise over the next 12 months.
It is an area with high poverty and a high crime rate.
the birth/death/divorce rate
the failure/success rate

HR, INSURANCE an amount of money that is charged or paid for a particular service:

cheap/competitive/reasonable rate The network offers the cheapest rates for mobile calls from abroad.
The survey found that the average rate of pay was $9.51 per hour for women and $12.95 for men.
charge/pay/set a rate We charge a rate of between €500 and €800 per day.
a daily/hourly/weekly rate

FINANCE, TAX the amount that is charged as tax on income, interest on loans, etc., usually shown as a percentage:

a competitive/reduced/special rate Some internet banks offer personal loans at highly competitive rates.
falling/high/rising rate How much a bond fund falls in a rising rate environment depends on its duration.
a fall/rise/cut in the rate We are likely to see a rise in the rate of VAT.
an annual/monthly/quarterly rate
the loan/savings rate
a rate cut/increase/hike I think we need another rate increase to keep inflation down.
rates [ plural ]

TAX, GOVERNMENT in the UK, a local tax paid for some public services:

The company was told it had to pay rates of £1,100 a year on the small piece of land.


uk /reɪt/ us

[ I or T ] to have, or be thought to have, a particular value or quality:

rate (sth) highly The broadband deal is rated highly in a survey by Which magazine.
The sector's most highly-rated analyst team advised investors to book profits.
rate (sth) as sth That must rate as one of the worst investments the company has ever made.
be rated a failure/success

[ T ] to give something a particular value or position in a list, according to a set of standards:

The survey asked consumers to rate the elements that would most influence their purchasing decision.
be rated A/15/R, etc. This film is rated 18, and is for adults only.

[ T ] COMMERCE, ENVIRONMENT to give something such as a piece of electrical equipment a number or letter that shows how powerful it is, how much electricity it uses, etc. so that consumers can compare products:

be rated A/B/X, etc. The washing machine is rated A for energy efficiency.

[ T ] FINANCE, STOCK MARKET to give an investment a particular value after examining the level of risk involved:

be rated (as) investment grade/A/Triple A etc. Debt rated AA has a very strong capacity to pay interest and repay principal.
rate sth (as) a buy/hold/sell

FINANCE, STOCK MARKET to advise investors to buy, keep, or sell particular shares or bonds

See also

used with words such as first, second, etc. to show how good or bad you think something is:

first-/top-rate An innovative person with top-rate business credentials is needed to fill the position of executive director.

(Definition of “rate” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)