Main definitions of rare in English

: rare1rare2

rare1

adjective

  • 1(of an event, situation, or condition) not occurring very often.

    ‘a rare genetic disorder’
    [with infinitive] ‘it's rare to meet someone who's content with their life’
    • ‘Nine months later, the nation witnesses the rare situation of having no ruling party.’
    • ‘I think you can get depression off the drug, although I still think it is a very rare event.’
    • ‘Soon they would know far more than they ever wanted to about a rare condition called tuberous sclerosis.’
    • ‘It is a very rare condition in Samantha's age group and she is one of only a few teenagers in the country to have it.’
    • ‘But the event also offers a rare chance to put some of the town's most caring people into the spotlight.’
    • ‘Ben's condition is so rare that only 33 people in the world have ever been diagnosed with it.’
    • ‘Either way, they are a rare event round here lately, so that makes them a big deal.’
    • ‘The condition is so rare it only affects a handful of women in the world each year.’
    • ‘Olivia suffers from two rare conditions which severely restrict almost everything she does.’
    • ‘I think part of it was that staying up to midnight was a rare event, an exciting exception to our daily life.’
    • ‘She was diagnosed with a rare condition that inflamed her liver at just six weeks old.’
    • ‘The condition is rare and is caused by the inheritance of an abnormal gene from an affected parent.’
    • ‘This very rare condition stops the nerve fibres from sending a signal to the brain.’
    • ‘They donated Vicki's heart for research so that experts can learn more about the rare condition.’
    • ‘These events are so rare that it's hard to find direct evidence of them on earth.’
    • ‘Live Aid was a stadium concert held at a time when giant outdoor events were rare.’
    • ‘The best that most of us can do is to live with it, enjoy it and be thankful it is such a rare event.’
    • ‘In this day and age, it's a rare event due to the stormwater engineering in our cities.’
    • ‘The rescue of Bulgarian Jews represents a rare event in the history of the civilised world.’
    • ‘It also gives them a rare opportunity to meet recent graduates in a relaxed environment.’
    infrequent, few and far between, scarce, sparse, scattered, thin on the ground, golden, like gold dust, as scarce as hen's teeth
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a thing) not found in large numbers and consequently of interest or value.
      ‘the jellyfish tree, one of the rarest plants on earth’
      • ‘Yet the site is also home to rare mammals such as water voles and rare plants such as pepper saxifrage.’
      • ‘They revel in observing rare plants and animals and some groups even book hunting trips.’
      • ‘They are too rare and valuable a bird to be hawked about with the rest of your menagerie.’
      • ‘Daniel George plants rare peanut trees in Keen Street to replace the golden rain trees.’
      • ‘Young people with more than a normal interest in Botany might try to remember the names of rare species.’
      • ‘These are mature lakes of great beauty, often the haunt of rare animals and birds.’
      • ‘These trees will help to provide shelter and food for birds including the rare black grouse.’
      • ‘The locally and regionally important grassland nature reserve is home to a range of rare insects and plants.’
      • ‘Thieves will jump the fence more easily and take away some of the rare plants.’
      • ‘The plants were rare in the valley itself, although they were profuse on the hillsides.’
      • ‘Security has been reviewed at Manchester Museum after three rare coins were stolen from a display case.’
      • ‘At that time, many people showed a keen interest in studying rare animals and birds.’
      • ‘A lone pair of marsh warblers, an extremely rare and tiny bird, has also bred at the centre.’
      • ‘Students were lucky to spot rare species of plants, giant squirrels and wild mushrooms.’
      • ‘They were studying a cluster of rhododendrons on the Azalea Lawn when they came across the rare plant.’
      • ‘Ituri is a rare ecosystem possessing plants and animals that exist nowhere else on earth.’
      • ‘Other rare British birds are also under threat as the turbines proliferate.’
      • ‘Sometimes he goes to watch birds in the suburban marshes, where more rare species can be found.’
      • ‘Kent saw large numbers of common birds and higher than normal counts of scarce and rare wintering birds.’
      • ‘But it was a rare drug, a plant extract imported from South America at great expense.’
    2. 1.2Unusually good or remarkable.
      ‘he plays with rare strength and sensitivity’
      • ‘To be able to take a stand like he did is rare and precious thing in politics.’
      • ‘Artistically, it is a rare and precious gem that demands careful examination.’
      • ‘For the rare or unusual gift, a trip round the antique or second-hand shops and a little imagination is all you need.’
      • ‘For the most part, though, the game is still in a position of rare strength.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense widely spaced, infrequent): from Latin rarus.

Pronunciation:

rare

/rer/

Main definitions of rare in English

: rare1rare2

rare2

adjective

  • (of meat, especially beef) lightly cooked, so that the inside is still red.

    • ‘Why should I be obliged to trade my rare steak for some fool's chicken Kiev?’
    • ‘Why does everything else pale in comparison to the rich, glistening red of a rare filet mignon?’
    • ‘For this salad, the sirloin needs to be medium rare to rare, so it is sufficient just to sear the meat on both sides.’
    • ‘My comrade saw the perverse and absurd side of life and was happy to laugh along with it over a nice rare steak and a beer.’
    • ‘The spicy beef was rare and served with green mango and coriander, but lacked any real zing.’
    • ‘A rare steak is returned by a customer who wants it better done.’
    • ‘Patty was so mad because she had ordered a well done steak only to get one that was very red and rare.’
    • ‘The steak could have been more tender if we had asked for it to be medium rare, which would have been better.’
    • ‘We'll be cooking a steak rare on our barbeque and washing it down with some Chablis..’
    • ‘This was sent back to the kitchen as the rare steak was overcooked and the sauce was burnt.’
    • ‘In another fragment he recommends hare, cooked rare, for a similar occasion.’
    • ‘It is the sort of place I might take my grandfather for a rare steak and a bottle of Chateau Neuf de Pape.’
    • ‘The meat was cooked medium rare as ordered, and was tasty and delicious.’
    • ‘To them, it tastes as good as medium rare steak.’
    • ‘Top with slices of rare roast beef, then lettuce leaves, then tomato slices.’
    • ‘The meat was tasty and cooked perfectly to my medium rare specification.’

Origin

Late 18th century: variant of obsolete rear half-cooked (used to refer to soft-boiled eggs, from the mid 17th to mid 19th centuries).

Pronunciation:

rare

/rer/