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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rarest
  • Neurogenic shock neurogenic shock is the rarest form of shock.
  • It is rich with marine resources, including the rarest sea corals in the world.
British Dictionary definitions for rarest

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 rarest

rare

adj.

"unusual," late 14c., "thin, airy, porous;" mid-15c., "few in number and widely separated, sparsely distributed, seldom found;" from Old French rere "sparse" (14c.), from Latin rarus "thinly sown, having a loose texture; not thick; having intervals between, full of empty spaces," from PIE *ra-ro-, from root *ere- "to separate; adjoin" (cf. Sanskrit rte "besides, except," viralah "distant, tight, rare;" Old Church Slavonic rediku "rare," Old Hittite arhaš "border," Lithuanian irti "to be dissolved"). "Few in number," hence, "unusual." Related: Rareness. In chemistry, rare earth is from 1818.

"undercooked," 1650s, variant of Middle English rere, from Old English hrere "lightly cooked," probably related to hreran "to stir, move, shake, agitate," from Proto-Germanic *hror- (cf. Old Frisian hrera "to stir, move," Old Saxon hrorian, Dutch roeren, German rühren, Old Norse hroera), from PIE base *kere- "to mix, confuse; cook" (cf. Greek kera- "to mix," krasis "mixture"). 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 ...."

v.

"rise up," 1833, dialectal variant of rear (v.). Sense of "eager" (in raring to go) first recorded 1909. Related: Rared; raring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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