Hypertext Webster Gateway: "rather"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Rather \Rath"er\, a. [Compar. of {Rath}, a.]
Prior; earlier; former. [Obs.]

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

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Rather \Rath"er\, adv. [AS. hra[eth]or, compar. of hra[eth]e,
hr[ae][eth]e, quickly, immediately. See {Rath}, a.]
1. Earlier; sooner; before. [Obs.]

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

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

2. More readily or willingly; preferably.

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

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

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

4. 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.

5. More properly; more correctly speaking.

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

6. 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}, or {Would rather}, prefer to; prefers to; as,
he had, or 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}.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

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: {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: {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}]
4: to a degree (not used with a negative); "quite tasty";
"quite soon"; "quite ill"; "quite rich" [syn: {quite}]

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