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rather    : [r'æðɚ] [r'ʌðɚ]
Rather \Rath"er\ (r[a^][th]"[~e]r), a. [Compar. of {Rath}, a.]
Prior; earlier; former. [Obs.]
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Now no man dwelleth at the rather town. --Sir J.
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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.]
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1. Earlier; sooner; before. [Obs.]
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Thou shalt, quod he, be rather false than I.
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A good mean to come the rather to grace. --Foxe.
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2. More readily or willingly; preferably.
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My soul chooseth . . . death rather than my life.
--Job vii. 15.
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3. On the other hand; to the contrary of what was said or
suggested; instead.
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Was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. --Mark
v. 26.
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4. Of two alternatives conceived of, this by preference to,
or as more likely than, the other; somewhat.
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He sought throughout the world, but sought in vain,
And nowhere finding, rather feared her slain.
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5. More properly; more correctly speaking.
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This is an art
Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
The art itself is nature. --Shak.
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6. In some degree; somewhat; as, the day is rather warm; the
house is rather damp.
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{The rather}, the more so; especially; for better reason; for
particular cause.
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You are come to me in happy time,
The rather for I have some sport in hand. --Shak.
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{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]

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" [synonym: {rather},
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" [synonym: {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" [synonym: {preferably}, {sooner}, {rather}]
4: to a degree (not used with a negative); "quite tasty"; "quite
soon"; "quite ill"; "quite rich" [synonym: {quite}, {rather}]

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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