predeterminer, adverb
1 (+ adj/adv) quite; fairly: I was rather surprised to see him with his ex-wife. | He was limping rather badly as he walked off the field. | It's not too big for you at all. I rather like the way it fits you. | rather a big hat/a tall man etc: Simon's always been rather a difficult person to get along with. | rather too big/too tall etc: They spoke rather too quietly to be heard at the back of the hall.
2 would rather if you would rather do or have something, you would prefer to do it or have it: I suppose I could lend it to them but I'd rather not. | To be honest, I'd rather have a quiet night in front of the TV. | would rather do sth than do sth: I'd rather die than ask him for his autograph. | would rather sb did sth: We'd rather you didn't smoke in our home.
3 rather than
a) more than or to a greater degree than someone or something else: The parents should be blamed rather than the children. | I think you'd call it a lecture rather than a talk.
b) instead of someone or something else: Rather than squeezing your own oranges, have you tried buying packs of orange juice?
4 or rather used to correct something that you have said, or give more specific information: You have to be sixteen for cheap tickets - or rather under sixteen.
5 not...but rather... used to say that someone does not do something but does something else instead: The committee does not deal with individual correspondence, but rather discusses issues in its newsletter.
6 Rather! spoken BrE old-fashioned used to agree with someone
USAGE NOTE: RATHER WORD CHOICE: fairly, quite, pretty, rather, kind of You use fairly or quite to describe something that is neither good nor bad: The weather was fairly cold (=more than a little cold, but not extremely cold).| The movie was quite good (=more than a little good). Rather is fairly formal, and is especially used in British English. It often suggests that something is bad or unsuitable: It's rather cold (=colder than I would like).| I was driving rather fast (=a little too fast). British English speakers often use rather about things they like very much: Yes I painted it myself - I'm rather pleased with it. Pretty is the most usual way of saying 'fairly' or `very' in American English, and is used in British English as well. It is more common in spoken English than in writing: Charlie's Restaurant is pretty good, especially if you want somewhere cheap. | You'd better wear a coat - it's pretty cold out. GRAMMAR Note that you say: a rather/fairly/pretty long road but quite a long road. Of these four words, only rather can be used with comparative forms: I'd prefer a rather shorter hairstyle. Rather is not used before than when you are comparing people or things: Books are more interesting than TV (NOT Books are interesting rather than TV). But it is used when you are using adjectives to compare: TV is relaxing rather than interesting. Rather can only be used to mean prefer in the phrase I/he would rather followed by the base form of a verb or a clause: They'd rather walk (NOT they rather to walk/walking/a walk).| I'd rather not answer that question.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • rather — 1. Rather is common in BrE as a so called ‘downtoner’, i.e. an adverb that reduces the effect of the following adjective, adverb, or noun, as in It is rather expensive, You were driving rather fast, and He s rather a fool. With nouns, the… …   Modern English usage

  • Rather — Rath er (r[a^][th] [ e]r; 277), adv. [AS. hra[eth]or, compar. of hra[eth]e, hr[ae][eth]e, quickly, immediately. See {Rath}, a.] [1913 Webster] 1. Earlier; sooner; before. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Thou shalt, quod he, be rather false than I. Chaucer …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rather — [rath′ər, räth′ər; ] for interj. [ ra′thʉr′, rä′thʉr′] adv. [ME < OE hrathor, compar. of hrathe, hræthe, quickly: see RATHE] 1. Obs. more quickly; sooner 2. more willingly; preferably [would you rather have tea?] 3. with more justice, logic,… …   English World dictionary

  • Rather — is a family name. It is also an adverb in the English language.Rather may refer to:* Dan Rather, news presenter * Elizabeth Rather, expert in the computer programming language Forthsurname …   Wikipedia

  • rather — ► ADVERB 1) (would rather) indicating one s preference in a particular matter. 2) to a certain or significant extent or degree. 3) on the contrary. 4) more precisely. 5) instead of; as opposed to. ► EXCLAMATION Brit. dated …   English terms dictionary

  • Rather — ist der Name folgender Personen: Rather von Verona (um 887 974), Theologe und Bischof von Verona und Lüttich Dan Rather (* 1931), US amerikanischer Journalist Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rather — [adv1] moderately a bit, a little, averagely, comparatively, enough, fairly, in a certain degree, kind of, more or less, passably, pretty, quite, ratherish, reasonably, relatively, slightly, some, something, somewhat, sort of, so so*, tolerably,… …   New thesaurus

  • Rather — Rath er (r[a^][th] [ e]r), a. [Compar. of {Rath}, a.] Prior; earlier; former. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Now no man dwelleth at the rather town. Sir J. Mandeville. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rather — O.E. hraþor more quickly, earlier, sooner, also more readily, comparative of hraþe, hræþe quickly, related to hræð quick, from P.Gmc. *khrathuz (Cf. O.N. hraðr, O.H.G. hrad). The base form rathe was obsolete by 18c. except in poetry; superlative… …   Etymology dictionary

  • rather — [[t]rɑ͟ːðə(r), ræ̱ð [/t]] ♦ 1) PHR PREP You use rather than when you are contrasting two things or situations. Rather than introduces the thing or situation that is not true or that you do not want. The problem was psychological rather than… …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”