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rather

[adv. rath -er, rah-th er; interj. rath -ur, rah-th ur] /adv. ˈræð ər, ˈrɑ ðər; interj. ˈræðˈɜr, ˈrɑˈðɜr/
adverb
1.
in a measure; to a certain extent; somewhat:
rather good.
2.
in some degree:
I rather thought you would regret it.
3.
more properly or justly; with better reason:
The contrary is rather to be supposed.
4.
sooner; more readily or willingly:
to die rather than yield.
5.
more properly or correctly speaking; more truly:
He is a painter or, rather, a watercolorist.
6.
on the contrary:
It's not generosity, rather self-interest.
7.
rather than, instead of: Tutoring is provided by older students rather than teachers.
Rather than complain, you should try to make changes.
interjection
8.
Chiefly British. emphatically yes; assuredly; without doubt:
Is the book worth reading?Rather!
Idioms
9.
had / would rather, to prefer that or to:
I had much rather we not stay. We would rather go for dinner after the show.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English hrathor, comparative of hræth quick, rathe
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for rather than
  • Electrical conduit should run inside the counter, rather than through the block cells, wherever possible.
  • To avoid damaging branches, twist fruit off gently rather than pulling it.
  • Selected for flavor rather than hardiness, they are the crown jewels of summer.
  • Here's a spot for anyone looking for a retreat rather than a resort.
  • rather than tackling this or tossing them out, keep them around for their green foliage.
  • Dry-stacked stone walls are held together by friction and gravity rather than mortar.
  • rather than being attracted to certain colors, you're inspired by specific objects.
  • Despite its grandeur, it compliments rather than distracts from its splendid setting.
  • rather than romance, they could covet and treat themselves with sweets.
  • People used olive oil rather than soap to wash, so the water needed to be periodically skimmed by servants.
British Dictionary definitions for rather than

rather

/ˈrɑːðə/
adverb (in senses 1-4, not used with a negative)
1.
relatively or fairly; somewhat it's rather dull
2.
to a significant or noticeable extent; quite she's rather pretty
3.
to a limited extent or degree I rather thought that was the case
4.
with better or more just cause this text is rather to be deleted than rewritten
5.
more readily or willingly; sooner I would rather not see you tomorrow
sentence connector
6.
on the contrary it's not cold. Rather, it's very hot indeed
sentence substitute (ˈrɑːˈðɜː)
7.
an expression of strong affirmation, often in answer to a question Is it worth seeing? Rather!
Usage note
Both would and had are used with rather in sentences such as I would rather (or had rather) go to the film than to the play. Had rather is less common and is now widely regarded as slightly old-fashioned
Word Origin
Old English hrathor comparative of hræthready, quick; related to Old Norse hrathr
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 rather than
rather
O.E. hraþor "more quickly, earlier, sooner," also "more readily," comparative of hraþe, hræþe "quickly," related to hræð "quick," from P.Gmc. *khrathuz (cf. O.N. hraðr, O.H.G. hrad). The base form rathe was obsolete by 18c. except in poetry; superlative rathest fell from use by 17c. Meaning "more willingly" is recorded from c.1300; sense of "more truly" is attested from c.1380.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with rather than
see: had rather
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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9
8
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