Word of the Day Archive
Sunday August 4, 2013
1. extremely high or elevated; lofty; exalted: the rarefied atmosphere of a scholarly symposium.
2. of, belonging to, or appealing to an exclusive group; select; esoteric: rarefied tastes.
A fire then being made in any chimney, the air over the fire is rarefied by the heat, becomes lighter and therefore immediately rises in the funnel, and goes out...
-- Benjamin Franklin, Observations and Experiments, 1744-1785
She and Adam had one thing in common--they were both fine-drawn and rarefied--not much clogged with fleshly appetites.
-- John Buchan, A Prince of Captivity, 1933
Rarefied entered English in the late 1300s from the Latin rarus + facere meaning "to make rare."