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rare1

[rair] /rɛər/
adjective, rarer, rarest.
1.
coming or occurring far apart in time; unusual; uncommon:
a rare disease; His visits are rare occasions.
2.
thinly distributed over an area; few and widely separated:
Lighthouses are rare on that part of the coast.
3.
having the component parts not closely compacted together; not dense:
rare gases; lightheaded from the rare mountain air.
4.
unusually great:
a rare display of courage.
5.
unusually excellent; admirable; fine:
She showed rare tact in inviting them.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin rārus loose, wide apart, thin, infrequent
Related forms
rareness, noun
Synonyms
1. exceptional, extraordinary, singular. 2. sparse, infrequent. 5. choice, incomparable, inimitable.
Antonyms
1. common. 2. frequent. 5. inferior.

rare2

[rair] /rɛər/
adjective, rarer, rarest.
1.
(of meat) cooked just slightly:
He likes his steak rare.
Origin
1645-55; variant of earlier rear, Middle English rere, Old English hrēr lightly boiled
Related forms
rareness, noun

rare3

[rair] /rɛər/
verb (used without object), rared, raring. Older Use.
1.
rear2 (def 6).
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for rare
  • For many of us, major disasters are infrequent, but they are not all that rare.
  • Some meats are indeed cooked medium-rare, including pork and duck.
  • Researchers track the cause of a rare but fatal form of insomnia.
  • He is considered honest and frugal, rare virtues in a country with eye-popping graft.
  • Smart phones have increasingly become valuable tools in the conservation of rare species around the world.
  • When faced with the rare snail whose shell formation is counterclockwise, many snakes failed to feed or dropped their prey.
  • With the exception of some rare kinds, they are summer and fall blooming.
  • With tensions rising between the two powers, the concert was a rare moment when art really did seem to transcend politics.
  • Severe, chronic mental illness was viewed as relatively rare.
  • Constructive suggestions are rare in a debate that has mixed a lot of rhetorical cant with a big principle.
British Dictionary definitions for rare

rare1

/rɛə/
adjective
1.
not widely known; not frequently used or experienced; uncommon or unusual a rare word
2.
occurring seldom a rare appearance
3.
not widely distributed; not generally occurring a rare herb
4.
(of a gas, esp the atmosphere at high altitudes) having a low density; thin; rarefied
5.
uncommonly great; extreme kind to a rare degree
6.
exhibiting uncommon excellence; superlatively good or fine rare skill
7.
highly valued because of its uncommonness a rare prize
Derived Forms
rareness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin rārus sparse

rare2

/rɛə/
adjective
1.
(of meat, esp beef) very lightly cooked
Word Origin
Old English hrēr; perhaps related to hreawraw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rare
rare
"unusual," c.1420, originally "few in number and widely separated," from O.Fr. rere "sparse" (14c.), from L. rarus "thinly sown, having a loose texture," from PIE *er-, *ere- "to loose, split, separate" (cf. Skt. rte "besides, except," viralah "distant, tight, rare;" O.C.S. oriti "to dissolve, destroy;" Lith. irti "to dissolve;" O.C.S. rediku "rare;" Gk. eremos "solitary"). "Few in number," hence, "unusual" (1542). Rarity is attested from 1560, from M.Fr. rarité (16c.), from L. raritas "thinness, fewness," from rarus. In chemistry, rare earth is from 1875.
rare
"undercooked," 1655, variant of M.E. rere, from O.E. hrer "lightly cooked," probably related to hreran "to stir, move." Originally of eggs, not recorded in reference to meat until 1784, and according to OED, in this sense "formerly often regarded as an Americanism, although it was current in many English dialects ...."
rare
"rise up," 1833, dialectal variant of rear (v.). Sense of "eager" (in raring to go) first recorded 1909.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rare in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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