Rather

Rath"er

(r"r; 277), adv. [AS. hraor, compar. of hrae, hre, 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.
Chaucer.
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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.
Dryden.
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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.
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Fri 14th December 2018