adjective (rarer, rarest)
- 1(Of an event, situation, or condition) not occurring very often: a rare genetic disorder [with infinitive]: it’s rare to see a house so little alteredMore example sentences
- The best that most of us can do is to live with it, enjoy it and be thankful it is such a rare event.
- She was diagnosed with a rare condition that inflamed her liver at just six weeks old.
- The condition is so rare it only affects a handful of women in the world each year.
- 1.1(Of a thing) not found in large numbers and so of interest or value: one of Britain’s rarest birds, the honey buzzardMore example sentences
- They are too rare and valuable a bird to be hawked about with the rest of your menagerie.
- At that time, many people showed a keen interest in studying rare animals and birds.
- Yet the site is also home to rare mammals such as water voles and rare plants such as pepper saxifrage.
- 1.2Unusually good or remarkable: he plays with rare sensitivityMore example sentences
exceptional, outstanding, unparalleled, peerless, matchless, unique, unequalled, incomparable, unrivalled, inimitable, beyond compare, beyond comparison, without equal, second to none, unsurpassed, surpassing, exquisite, superb, consummate, superior, superlative, first-class, first-rate, special, choice, excellent, very fine• rare unexampled
- For the rare or unusual gift, a trip round the antique or second-hand shops and a little imagination is all you need.
- Artistically, it is a rare and precious gem that demands careful examination.
- To be able to take a stand like he did is rare and precious thing in politics.
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- He bought his records on import, and the exclusivity and rareness of the music gave it a profound glamour.
- Where there is rareness, there is exclusiveness, and it is an exclusive type of environment.
- The exceptions shine out all the more brilliantly for their rareness.
late Middle English (in the sense 'widely spaced, infrequent'): from Latin rarus.
adjective (rarer, rarest)
- (Of meat, especially beef) lightly cooked, so that the inside is still red: rare roast beef Stephen likes his steak rareMore example sentences
- To them, it tastes as good as medium rare steak.
- This was sent back to the kitchen as the rare steak was overcooked and the sauce was burnt.
- The spicy beef was rare and served with green mango and coriander, but lacked any real zing.
late 18th century: variant of obsolete rear 'half-cooked' (used to refer to soft-boiled eggs, from the mid 17th to mid 19th centuries).