Rath"er (?), a. [Compar. of Rath, a.]

Prior; earlier; former.


Now no man dwelleth at the rather town. Sir J. Mandeville.


© Webster 1913.

Rath"er (?), adv. [AS. hra[eth]or, compar. of hra[eth]e, hrae[eth]e, quickly, immediately. See Rath, a.]


Earlier; sooner; before.


Thou shalt, quod he, be rather false than I. Chaucer.

A good mean to come the rather to grace. Foxe.


More readily or willingly; preferably.

My soul chooseth . . . death rather than my life. Job vii. 15.


On the other hand; to the contrary of what was said or suggested; instead.

Was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. Mark v. 26.


Of two alternatives conceived of, by preference to, or as more likely than, the other; somewhat.

He sought throughout the world, but sought in vain, And nowhere finding, rather feared her slain. Dryden.


More properly; more correctly speaking.

This is an art Which does mend nature, change it rather, but The art itself is nature. Shak.


In some degree; somewhat; as, the day is rather warm; the house is rather damp.

The rather, the more so; especially; for better reason; for particular cause.

You are come to me in happy time, The rather for I have some sport in hand. Shak.

-- Had rather, ∨ Would rather, prefer to; prefers to; as, he had, ∨ would, rather go than stay. "I had rather speak five words with my understanding than ten thousands words in an unknown tongue." 1 Cor. xiv. 19. See Had rather, under Had.


© Webster 1913.

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