There are 3 main definitions of rate in English:

rate1

Line breaks: rate
Pronunciation: /reɪt
 
/

noun

1A measure, quantity, or frequency, typically one measured against another quantity or measure: the island has the lowest crime rate in the world buying up sites at a rate of one a month
More example sentences
  • Yet their crime rates, by whatever measure one judged them, were very different.
  • Although the theoretical model assumes constant yaw rate, the measured rates are highly dynamic.
  • Curvature is a measure of the local geometry of the surface, while the strain rates measure its relative rate of expansion.
1.1The speed with which something moves or happens: the band is shedding vocalists at an alarming rate your heart rate
More example sentences
  • It is harder to attack a convoy, however, if it is moving at a high rate of speed.
  • Oh who am I kidding, the thought of riding wasn't the only thing that was causing my heart rate to speed up.
  • But we are really moving at an incredible rate to get medicines to the hospitals.
Synonyms
speed, pace, tempo, velocity, momentum;
gait
informal clip, lick
2A fixed price paid or charged for something: a £3.40 minimum hourly rate of pay advertising rates
More example sentences
  • In Mumbai and Pune, rickshaws have meters, and a fixed rate by which you pay them.
  • The average hourly rate of pay must not be less than your minimum hourly rate of pay illustrated on the table above.
  • At present all non-domestic users pay a fixed rate for water irrespective of the quantity that they use.
Synonyms
charge, price, cost, tariff, hire, fare, figure, amount, outlay;
fee, remuneration, pay, payment, wage, allowance
informal damage
2.1The amount of a charge or payment expressed as a percentage of another amount, or as a basis of calculation: you’ll find our current interest rate very competitive
More example sentences
  • If she gets pregnant, the interest rate drops by one basis point for one year.
  • On exiting the scheme, tax is charged at a rate of 23 per cent on the interest earned.
  • A transfer of property between blood relatives is charged at half the rate of stamp duty which would otherwise apply.
Synonyms
percentage, ratio, proportion, scale, standard
2.2 (rates) (In the UK) a tax on commercial land and buildings paid to a local authority; (in Northern Ireland and formerly in the UK) a tax levied on private property.
More example sentences
  • We council tax payers pay rates to Central Government, which later gives money to the council to pay for such expenses.
  • Local government did tax directly; its revenue came from rates collected on land.
  • Businesses often question what they get in return for paying local authority rates.

verb

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1 [with object] Assign a standard or value to (something) according to a particular scale: they were asked to rate their ability at different driving manoeuvres [with object and complement]: the hotel, rated four star, had no hot water
More example sentences
  • They were also asked to describe their outfits on a 7-point Likert scale rating four options: natural, modest, bold, and sexy.
  • Until 1999, Star Wars films were rated on a scale of 10 to 10 with no exceptions.
  • Almost every one of the albums was rated four stars by customers.
Synonyms
assess, evaluate, appraise, weigh up, judge, estimate, calculate, compute, gauge, measure, adjudge, value, put a value on;
grade, rank, classify, class, categorize, position, place
1.1 [with object and adverbial] Assign a standard, optimal, or limiting rating to (a piece of equipment): the average life of the new bulb is rated at approximately 500 hours
More example sentences
  • Although the TwinX Kit is rated at 400MHz, contrary to popular belief, the speed of the ram is not the single most important factor when shopping for ram.
  • In stock form, the Ecotec is rated at 140 horsepower.
  • Hansen's truck is powered by a Brent Voges-built 327-cid engine that is rated at 250 horsepower.
1.2(In the UK) assess the value of (a property) for the purpose of levying a local tax.
More example sentences
  • SOME AUSTRALIAN MUNICIPALITIES were rating on unimproved land values as early as the 1850s.
  • Auckland city is the last remaining instance of annual rental value rating - a relic from the nineteenth century.
  • The earlier Transvaal Ordinance effectively prevented flat rating or total value rating.
2 [with object and adverbial] Consider to be of a certain quality or standard: Atkinson rates him as Europe’s top defender [with object and complement]: the program has been rated a great success
More example sentences
  • And out of the 10 specialist services provided at the hospital, such as paediatrics, stroke and heart treatments, eight are rated as being high quality.
  • How could WorldCom, a company that was in financial trouble, issue bonds that were rated investment grade quality?
  • Even yours truly rated a fleeting mention so of course it must be rated a sterling success.
Synonyms
consider to be, judge to be, reckon to be, think to be, hold to be, deem to be, find to be;
regard, account, esteem, mark down as, look on, count
2.1 [no object, with adverbial] Be regarded in a specified way: Jeff still rates as one of the nicest people I have ever met
More example sentences
  • So how do election counts rate in terms of viewer involvement?
  • A vegetable doesn't have to be high on all counts to be worth growing, especially if it rates better than the cultivar you have been putting in for years.
  • Environmental quality rated considerably ahead of CEO preference - frequently alluded to as a key location factor for high tech companies.
2.2 [with object] informal Have a high opinion of: Mike certainly rated her, goodness knows why
More example sentences
  • WHAT IS THE HUMAN QUALITY most rated by Californians?
Synonyms
think highly of, have a high opinion of, admire, think much of, set much store by, hold in esteem, esteem, value, hold in high regard
2.3 [with object] Be worthy of; merit: the ambassador rated a bulletproof car and a police escort
More example sentences
  • Nine's ratings problems and management changes barely rated a mention around the market.
  • By the benchmark of the Rwandan civil war, it would barely rate a mention.
  • He barely rates a mention, naturally, and when he is mentioned he is sneered at.
Synonyms
merit, deserve, warrant, be worthy of, be worth, be entitled to, be deserving of, have a claim to, have a right to

Origin

late Middle English (expressing a notion of 'estimated value'): from Old French, from medieval Latin rata (from Latin pro rata parte (or portione) 'according to the proportional share'), from ratus 'reckoned', past participle of reri.

Phrases

at any rate

Whatever happens or may have happened: for the moment, at any rate, he was safe
More example sentences
  • Such, at any rate, was the answer that rang back at my moment of frustration and paralysis and panic.
  • We know only that the transfer was made, at any rate, according to a public statement by Earl Huntley.
  • The workforce has, at any rate, been trimmed down over the years.
Synonyms
whatever happens, no matter what happens, come what may, regardless, notwithstanding
Used to clarify or emphasize a statement: the story, or at any rate, a public version of it, was known and remembered
More example sentences
  • Great story for a kid at any rate, because kids love horrific things.
  • But the hardships are in practice not so serious as might appear, at any rate in the case of statements which are ex facie defamatory.
  • Also as usual, at any rate with Waters, there is a lesbian love story involved.

at this (or that) rate

If matters continue in this or that way: at this rate, I won’t have a job to go back to
More example sentences
  • Still, it would be pretty hard to include ‘computer consultant’ on my business card at this rate.
  • Mate, enjoy making fun of our columnists because they've only got a few years left at this rate…
  • This week is going to drag on for ever at this rate.

rate of return

The annual income from an investment expressed as a proportion (usually a percentage) of the original investment.
More example sentences
  • The standard story of entry and exit leads to a long-run equilibrium in which all firms earn only a normal rate of return on investment.
  • It will also use the money for financing investments that will produce a better rate of return than the interest it will have to pay on its new loan notes.
  • In order to do that, the tax system must let savers earn the full gross rate of return on their investments.

Definition of rate in: