1 /reIt/ noun (C)
1 SPEED the speed at which something happens over a period of time: Our money was running out at an alarming rate. | Children learn at different rates.
(+ of): the rate of economic growth
2 AMOUNT the number of times something happens or the number of examples of something within a certain period: birth/unemployment/divorce/crime rate: The divorce rate rose from 20,000 in 1961 to 150,000 in 1985. | high/low rate of: high rates of unemployment | success/failure rate (=the number of times that something succeeds or fails): Penicillin has a high success rate in bacterial infections.
3 MONEY a charge or payment fixed according to a standard scale: The sports centre has reduced rates for students. | Nurses are demanding higher rates of pay. | hourly/weekly rate (=the amount paid per hour/week): What's the hourly rate for cleaning? | the going rate (=the usual amount paid for work): I'm told $20 an hour is the going rate for private tuition.
4 at this rate spoken used to say what will happen if things continue to happen in the same way as now: At this rate we won't even be able to afford a holiday.
5 at any rate spoken used when you are stating one definite fact in a situation that is uncertain or unsatisfactory: Well, at any rate, we won't starve! | They've had technical problems - at any rate that's what they told me.
6 first-rate/second-rate/third-rate of good, bad, or very bad quality: a cheap third-rate motel
7 at a rate of knots BrE informal very quickly: Jack's getting through the ironing at a rate of knots!
8 rates (plural) a local tax, paid before 1990 by owners of buildings in Britain
—see also: base rate, exchange rate, interest rate 2 verb
a) (T) to think that someone or something has a particular quality, value, or standard: be rated (as) sth: Lewis is currently rated the world's No. 1 athlete. | She is generally rated as one of the best modern poets. | rate sb/sth highly (=think they are very good or important): The company seems to rate him very highly.
b) (I) to be considered as having a particular quality, value, or standard
(+ as): Becker rates as one of the finest players of his generation.
2 THINK SB/STH IS GOOD (T) BrE informal to think that someone or something is very good: I know they're your favourite team, but I just don't rate them.
3 DESERVE (T) informal, especially AmE to deserve: They rate a big thank-you for all their hard work. | rate a mention (=be important enough to be in the news): a local incident that didn't rate a mention in the national press
4 FILMS be rated G/U/PG/X if a film is rated G, U etc it is officially judged to be suitable or unsuitable for children
—see also: X­rated
5 ANGRY (I, T) old use to speak angrily to someone; berate

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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