from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A quantity measured with respect to another measured quantity: a rate of speed of 60 miles an hour.
  • n. A measure of a part with respect to a whole; a proportion: the mortality rate; a tax rate.
  • n. The cost per unit of a commodity or service: postal rates.
  • n. A charge or payment calculated in relation to a particular sum or quantity: interest rates.
  • n. Level of quality.
  • n. Chiefly British A locally assessed property tax. Often used in the plural.
  • transitive v. To calculate the value of; appraise. See Synonyms at estimate.
  • transitive v. To place in a particular rank or grade.
  • transitive v. To regard or account: rated the movie excellent.
  • transitive v. To value for purposes of taxation.
  • transitive v. To set a rate for (goods to be shipped).
  • transitive v. To specify the performance limits of (a machine, for example): This fuse is rated at 50 amperes.
  • transitive v. Informal To merit or deserve: people that rate special treatment. See Synonyms at earn1.
  • intransitive v. To be ranked in a particular class.
  • intransitive v. Informal To have status, importance, or influence.
  • idiom at any rate Whatever the case may be.
  • idiom at any rate At least.
  • transitive v. To berate.
  • intransitive v. To express reproof.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A wage calculated in relation to a unit of time.
  • n. A class into which ships were assigned based on condition, size etc.; by extension, rank.
  • v. To assign or be assigned a particular rank or level.
  • v. To evaluate or estimate the value of.
  • v. To consider or regard.
  • v. To deserve; to be worth.
  • v. To determine the limits of safe functioning for a machine or electrical device.
  • v. (chiefly (UK)) To evaluate a property's value for the purposes of local taxation.
  • v. (informal) To like; to think highly of.
  • v. To have position (in a certain class).
  • v. To have value or standing.
  • v. To berate, scold.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Established portion or measure; fixed allowance.
  • n. That which is established as a measure or criterion; degree; standard; rank; proportion; ratio
  • n. Valuation; price fixed with relation to a standard; cost; charge.
  • n. A tax or sum assessed by authority on property for public use, according to its income or value; esp., in England, a local tax
  • n. Order; arrangement.
  • n. Ratification; approval.
  • n. The gain or loss of a timepiece in a unit of time
  • n.
  • n. The order or class to which a war vessel belongs, determined according to its size, armament, etc.
  • n. The class of a merchant vessel for marine insurance, determined by its relative safety as a risk, as A1, A2, etc.
  • v. To chide with vehemence; to scold; to censure violently; to berate.
  • intransitive v. To be set or considered in a class; to have rank.
  • intransitive v. To make an estimate.
  • transitive v. To set a certain estimate on; to value at a certain price or degree.
  • transitive v. To assess for the payment of a rate or tax.
  • transitive v. To settle the relative scale, rank, position, amount, value, or quality of
  • transitive v. To ratify.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To chide with vehemence; reprove; scold; censure violently.
  • To affect by chiding or reproving; restrain by vehement censure.
  • To utter vehement censure or reproof; inveigh scoldingly: with at.
  • To reckon by comparative estimation; regard as of such a value, rank, or degree; hold at a certain valuation or estimate; appraise; fix the value or price of.
  • To assess as to payment or contribution; fix the comparative liability of, for taxation or the like; reckon at so much in obligation or capability; set a rate upon.
  • To fix the relative scale, rank, or position of: as, to rate a ship; to rate a seaman.
  • To determine the rate of, or rate-error of, as a chronometer or other timepiece. See rate, n., 10.
  • To have value, rank, standing, or estimation: as, the vessel rates as a ship of the line.
  • To ratify. To rate the truce they swore.
  • To fix at a rate of transportation: as, freight was rated as low as possible.
  • To convey or transport at a given rate.
  • Having missed fire, literally or figuratively; having failed.
  • n. One who has failed; a person who is a failure.
  • n. A reckoning by comparative values or relations; proportional estimation according to some standard; relative amount, quantity, range, or degree: as, the rate of interest is 6 per cent. (that is, $6 for every $100 for every year); the rate per mile of railroad charges. expenses, or speed; a rapid rate of growth or of progress.
  • n. Charge or valuation according to a scale or standard; comparative price or amount of demand; a fixed measure of estimation.
  • n. A fixed public tax or imposition assessed on property for some local purpose, usually according to income or value: as, poor- rates or church- rates in Great Britain.
  • n. A proportion allotted or permitted; an allotment or provision; a regulated amount or supply.
  • n. A relative scale of being, action, or conduct; comparative degree or extent of any mode of existence or procedure; proportion in manner or method: as, an extravagant rate of living or of expenditure. See at any rate, at no rate. below.
  • n. Hence Mode or manner of arrangement; order; state.
  • n. Degree, rank, or estimation; rating; appraisement: used of persons and their qualities.
  • n. The order or class of a vessel, formerly regulated in the United States navy by the number of guns carried, but now by the tonnage displacement.
  • n. In the United States navy, the grade or position of any one of the crew: same as rating, 2.
  • n. In horology, the daily gain or loss of a chronometer or other timepiece.
  • n. Synonyms Assessment, Impost, etc. See tax.
  • n. A ratification.
  • n. A reproof; specifically, in hunting, a reproof to a dog.
  • n. under these circumstances; if this goes on; etc.

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

  • n. a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit
  • n. a quantity or amount or measure considered as a proportion of another quantity or amount or measure
  • v. assign a rank or rating to
  • v. be worthy of or have a certain rating
  • n. amount of a charge or payment relative to some basis
  • n. the relative speed of progress or change
  • v. estimate the value of


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin rata, proportion, short for Latin (prō) ratā (parte), (according to a) fixed (part), from feminine ablative past participle of rērī, to consider, reckon; see ar- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English raten, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French, from Medieval Latin rata, from Latin prō ratā parte, from ratus ("fixed"), from rērī ("think, deem, judge, originally reckon, calculate").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English raten ("to scold, chide"), from Old Norse hrata ("to refuse, reject, slight, find fault with"), from Proto-Germanic *hratjanan, *hratōnan (“to sway, shake”), from Proto-Indo-European *krad- (“to swing”). Cognate with Swedish rata ("to reject, refuse, find fault, slight"), Norwegian rata ("to reject, cast aside"), Old English hratian ("to rush, hasten").



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Its origin in Middle English raten etc. is thoroughly documented above.

    June 15, 2018

  • "Origin unknown" (according to the OED) only for the verb in sense "to scold."

    June 15, 2018