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 Dictionary entry overview: What does rare mean? 

RARE (adjective)
  The adjective RARE has 6 senses:

1. not widely known; especially valued for its uncommonness
2. recurring only at long intervals
3. not widely distributed
4. marked by an uncommon quality; especially superlative or extreme of its kind
5. having low density
6. (of meat) cooked a short time; still red inside

  Familiarity information: RARE used as an adjective is common.

 Dictionary entry details 

RARE (adjective)

Sense 1rare [BACK TO TOP]


Not widely known; especially valued for its uncommonness

Context examples:

a rare word / rare books


uncommon (not common or ordinarily encountered; unusually great in amount or remarkable in character or kind)

Sense 2rare [BACK TO TOP]


Recurring only at long intervals

Context examples:

a rare appearance / total eclipses are rare events


infrequent (not frequent; not occurring regularly or at short intervals)

Sense 3rare [BACK TO TOP]


Not widely distributed

Context examples:

rare herbs / rare patches of green in the desert


scarce (deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand)

Sense 4rare [BACK TO TOP]


Marked by an uncommon quality; especially superlative or extreme of its kind


uncommon; rare

Context examples:

what is so rare as a day in June / a rare skill / an uncommon sense of humor / she was kind to an uncommon degree


extraordinary (beyond what is ordinary or usual; highly unusual or exceptional or remarkable)

Sense 5rare [BACK TO TOP]


Having low density


rarefied; rarified; rare

Context examples:

rare gasses / lightheaded from the rarefied mountain air


thin (relatively thin in consistency or low in density; not viscous)

Sense 6rare [BACK TO TOP]


(of meat) cooked a short time; still red inside

Context example:

rare roast beef


raw (not treated with heat to prepare it for eating)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Never, Never... allow anyone to persuade you to suspend your common sense." (English proverb)

"You can't find stupidity in the forest." (Bulgarian proverb)

"An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep." (Arabic proverb)

"Life is just as long as the time it takes for someone to pass by a window." (Corsican proverb)

 RARE: related words searches 

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