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4 definitions found
 for rather
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              A good mean to come the rather to grace. --Foxe.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. More readily or willingly; preferably.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              My soul chooseth . . . death rather than my life.
                                                    --Job vii. 15.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. On the other hand; to the contrary of what was said or
        suggested; instead.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. --Mark
                                                    v. 26.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. Of two alternatives conceived of, this by preference to,
        or as more likely than, the other; somewhat.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              He sought throughout the world, but sought in vain,
              And nowhere finding, rather feared her slain.
                                                    --Dryden.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. More properly; more correctly speaking.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              This is an art
              Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
              The art itself is nature.             --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     6. In some degree; somewhat; as, the day is rather warm; the
        house is rather damp.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     The rather, the more so; especially; for better reason; for
        particular cause.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              You are come to me in happy time,
              The rather for I have some sport in hand. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Had rather, or Would rather, prefer to; prefers to; as,
        he had rather, or would rather go than stay. "I had rather
        speak five words with my understanding than ten thousand
        words in an unknown tongue." --1 Cor. xiv. 19. See Had
        rather, under Had.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  rather
      adv 1: on the contrary; "rather than disappoint the children, he
             did two quick tricks before he left"; "he didn't call;
             rather (or instead), he wrote her a letter"; "used
             English terms instead of Latin ones" [syn: rather,
             instead]
      2: to some (great or small) extent; "it was rather cold"; "the
         party was rather nice"; "the knife is rather dull"; "I rather
         regret that I cannot attend"; "He's rather good at playing
         the cello"; "he is kind of shy" [syn: rather, kind of,
         kinda, sort of]
      3: more readily or willingly; "clean it well, preferably with
         warm water"; "I'd rather be in Philadelphia"; "I'd sooner die
         than give up" [syn: preferably, sooner, rather]
      4: to a degree (not used with a negative); "quite tasty"; "quite
         soon"; "quite ill"; "quite rich" [syn: quite, rather]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  173 Moby Thesaurus words for "rather":
     OK, Roger, a bit, a little, a rebours, absolutely, acceptably,
     adequately, after all, again, against the grain, albeit, all right,
     all the same, alright, alrighty, alternately, alternatively,
     although, amen, arsy-varsy, as an alternative, as you say,
     assuredly, at all events, at any rate, aye, before, but,
     by all means, by choice, by contraries, by election, by proxy,
     by vote, certainly, choose, choose rather, contra, contrarily,
     contrariously, contrariwise, conversely, da, decently, even,
     even so, exactly, extremely, fairishly, fairly, fairly well,
     faute de mieux, favor, fine, first, for all that, good,
     good enough, have a bias, have preference, have rather, hear,
     honor before, howbeit, however, in a measure, in a way,
     in any case, in any event, in flat opposition, in its place,
     in its stead, in loco parentis, in preference, in some measure,
     indeed, indeedy, instead, inversely, it is that, ja, just so,
     just the opposite, just the same, kind of, lean towards,
     like better, mais oui, moderately, more, more or less,
     most assuredly, naturally, naturellement, nay rather, nevertheless,
     nonetheless, notwithstanding, of course, okay, on the contrary,
     oppositely, otherwise, oui, passably, per contra, please,
     positively, precisely, prefer, prefer to, preferably, presentably,
     pretty, pretty well, quite, quite the contrary, rather than,
     really, respectably, right, right as rain, right you are, righto,
     satisfactorily, scarcely, see fit, set before, slightly, so-so,
     somewhat, sooner, sooner than, sort of, still, sure, sure thing,
     surely, that is so, think best, think fit, think proper, though,
     to a degree, to be sure, to some extent, to the contrary,
     tolerably, topsy-turvy, tout au contraire, truly, unexceptionably,
     upside down, very, very well, vice versa, well and good,
     well enough, when, why yes, yea, yeah, yep, yes, yes indeed,
     yes indeedy, yes sir, yes sirree, yet, you are right, you said it,
     you speak truly
  
  

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