Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb Not often; infrequently.
  • adverb In an unusual degree; exceptionally.
  • adverb With uncommon excellence.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • So as to be underdone or only partially cooked: said of meats: as, a roast of beef rarely cooked.
  • Seldom; not often: as, things rarely seen.
  • Finely, excellently; remarkably well; with a rare excellence.
  • In excellent health: in quasi-adjective use. Compare purely in like use.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb In a rare manner or degree; seldom; not often.
  • adverb Finely; excellently; with rare skill. See 3d Rare, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb not often

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From rare +‎ -ly.

Examples

  • Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are unequivocal in their condemnation of homosexual sex, of fornication a term rarely used anymore, of adultery.

    HOW EVIL WORKS

  • Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are unequivocal in their condemnation of homosexual sex, of fornication a term rarely used anymore, of adultery.

    HOW EVIL WORKS

  • He described himself as a moderate conservative, a term rarely heard at a convention that draws crowds of GOP officials, radio personalities, advocacy groups and political vendors.

    The Seattle Times

  • "Discerning palate" is a term rarely used in describing our teenager's dining preferences, unless by discerning one means whether the boy decided to put cheese or ketchup on something or not.

    All Stories

  • It was exciting, and “cure” was a word rarely heard back then in medical oncology.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book

  • It was exciting, and “cure” was a word rarely heard back then in medical oncology.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book

  • I don't know what it is about energy and our use of it that inspires so many euphemisms, but "peak oil" is a term rarely used in the mainstream, corporate media.

    Kelpie Wilson: Preface to a Prelude to Peak Oil

  • I don't know what it is about energy and our use of it that inspires so many euphemisms, but "peak oil" is a term rarely used in the mainstream, corporate media.

    Kelpie Wilson: Preface to a Prelude to Peak Oil

  • I don't know what it is about energy and our use of it that inspires so many euphemisms, but "peak oil" is a term rarely used in the mainstream, corporate media.

    Kelpie Wilson: Preface to a Prelude to Peak Oil

  • I don't know what it is about energy and our use of it that inspires so many euphemisms, but "peak oil" is a term rarely used in the mainstream, corporate media.

    Kelpie Wilson: Preface to a Prelude to Peak Oil

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