from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adv. More readily; preferably: I'd rather go to the movies.
- adv. With more reason, logic, wisdom, or other justification.
- adv. More exactly; more accurately: He's my friend, or rather he was my friend.
- adv. To a certain extent; somewhat: rather cold.
- adv. On the contrary.
- adv. Chiefly British Most certainly. Used as an emphatic affirmative reply.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To prefer; to prefer to.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Prior; earlier; former.
- adv. Earlier; sooner; before.
- adv. More readily or willingly; preferably.
- adv. On the other hand; to the contrary of what was said or suggested; instead.
- adv. Of two alternatives conceived of, this by preference to, or as more likely than, the other; somewhat.
- adv. More properly; more correctly speaking.
- adv. In some degree; somewhat
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- More quickly; quicker. See rath, adverb, 1.
- Earlier; sooner.
- More readily or willingly; with better liking; with preference or choice; in preference, as compared with something else.
- In preference; preferably; with better reason; better.
- More properly; more correctly speaking; more.
- On the contrary; to the contrary of what has been just stated.
- In a greater degree; much; considerably; also, in colloquial use, in some degree; somewhat: qualifying a verb.
- In some degree or measure; somewhat; moderately: usually qualifying an adverb or an adjective: as, she is rather pretty.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adv. more readily or willingly
- adv. to a degree (not used with a negative)
- adv. on the contrary
- adv. to some (great or small) extent
Middle English, from Old English hrathor, comparative of hræthe, quickly, soon, from hræth, quick.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English rather, rether, from Old English hraþor ("sooner, earlier, more quickly"), comparative of hraþe ("hastily, quickly, promptly, readily, immediately, soon, at once, directly"), equivalent to rathe + -er. More at rathe. (Wiktionary)