[ adverb rath-er, rah-th er; interjection rath-ur, rah-th ur ]
/ adverb ˈræð ər, ˈrɑ ðər; interjection ˈræðˈɜr, ˈrɑˈðɜr /



Chiefly British. emphatically yes; assuredly; without doubt: Is the book worth reading?Rather!

Idioms for rather

    had/would rather, to prefer that or to: I had much rather we not stay. We would rather go for dinner after the show. Compare soon(def 8).

Origin of rather

before 900; Middle English; Old English hrathor, comparative of hræth quick, rathe

British Dictionary definitions for had rather

/ (ˈrɑːðə) /

adverb (in senses 1-4, not used with a negative)

sentence connector

on the contrary it's not cold. Rather, it's very hot indeed

sentence substitute (ˈrɑːˈðɜː)

an expression of strong affirmation, often in answer to a question Is it worth seeing? Rather!

Word Origin for rather

Old English hrathor comparative of hræth ready, quick; related to Old Norse hrathr

usage for rather

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

Idioms and Phrases with had rather (1 of 2)

had rather

Also, had sooner. Would prefer. For example, I had rather you let me do the driving, or He'd sooner switch than fight. This idiom today is often replaced by would rather. [Late 1500s] Also see just as soon.

Idioms and Phrases with had rather (2 of 2)


see had rather.