Definition of rarefied in English:



  • 1(of air, especially that at high altitudes) of lower pressure than usual; thin.

    ‘every ounce carried counts triple when you're trudging uphill in rarefied air’
    • ‘To sustain this kind of stamina, they are exquisitely adapted to the rarefied mountain air of their high-altitude stomping grounds.’
    • ‘That is more rarefied than the near vacuum in a television cathode ray tube.’
    • ‘Being 1,200 m above sea level, the climate is ideal for temperate fruits and vegetables which, like the people in the area, thrive on the somewhat rarefied air and the misty surroundings.’
    • ‘She did not seem to like the rarefied atmosphere over the Atlantic and proceeded to drop her oxygen level to 30% on a regular basis.’
    • ‘Denver's rarefied air adds about 10 percent to the length of fly balls, making extra base hits too easy.’
    • ‘Early attempts on the summit failed because of equipment and inexperience, but mainly because the rarefied air at altitude contains just a third of the oxygen of air at sea level.’
    • ‘Playing at home in the rarefied air of Mexico City (7,710 feet above sea level), the Mexicans just don't lose.’
    • ‘The rarefied air requires a mandatory period of two or three days enforced rest on arrival in order to ward off headaches and mountain sickness.’
    • ‘At almost 5,000 ft, it is surrounded by rarefied air, seductive silence and dreamy peaks.’
    • ‘When pitcher Mike Hampton signed with the Colorado Rockies, many people wondered aloud whether he would fall victim to the rarefied air of the Mile High city.’
    • ‘At 4900m Konzke La is the highest point of this trail; all but the fittest puff and pant in such rarefied air.’
    • ‘Thousands of feet above sea level, the air is clear but rarefied.’
    • ‘The Moon has no atmosphere; the Martian atmosphere is highly rarefied.’
    • ‘How does it feel to be breathing such rarefied air?’
    • ‘Everest conquest today is often more a triumph of modern equipment, where anyone with the money and the inclination can gulp that highly addictive, rarefied air.’
  • 2Distant from the lives and concerns of ordinary people; esoteric.

    ‘rarefied scholarly pursuits’
    • ‘Fussy high-end clients might not think Ikea impressive or exclusive enough for their rarefied tastes.’
    • ‘The lad and devoted dad must overcome corruption and indifference as they strive to make it in the rarefied world of the concert musician without connections.’
    • ‘But unlike the tradition of poetry as a rarefied pursuit, the Liverpool poets took their writing to the stage and rapidly developed a huge following.’
    • ‘Hawking's idea of science is that of a rarefied discipline far above the heads of ordinary people and definitely superior to all competing forms of knowledge.’
    • ‘The action takes place in the 1960s, but the girls' private dramas unfold in a rarefied world, isolated from the political turmoil going on outside.’
    • ‘If that is forfeited, the mind can all too easily float off into rarefied realms that, lofty as they might be, are but a shadow of the consciousness that meditation practices are designed to reveal.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the 1960s a scholarship boy attends a rarefied private school obsessed with literature.’
    • ‘She grew up in a rarefied world of private girls' schools and arranged marriages.’
    • ‘She portrays him as an outsider in the rarefied academic atmosphere of Oxford university.’
    • ‘Naturally I sat up to see what has been happening in the rarefied atmosphere of academia.’
    esoteric, exclusive, select, private, cliquish
    elevated, exalted, lofty
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