From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishratherra‧ther /ˈrɑːðə $ ˈræðər/ ●●●S1W1 predeterminer, adverb 🔊 🔊 1QUITE/FAIRLYfairly or to some degree 🔊 I was rather surprised to see him with his ex-wife. 🔊 He was limping rather badly. 🔊 My own position is rather different. 🔊 Abigail’s always been rather a difficult child. British English 🔊 Isn’t it rather late (=a little too late) to start changing all the arrangements? 🔊 Actually I rather like the new style of architecture. British English 🔊 It was a nice house, but rather too small for a family of four. British English 🔊 The task proved to be rather more difficult than I had expected. British English2 →would rather3 →rather than4 →or rather5 →not ... but rather ...6 →rather you/him/her/them than me7 →Rather!THESAURUSrather/quite especially British English more than a little, but less than very. British people often use these words before adjectives in conversation. In many cases they do not intend to change the meaning – it is just something that people sayShe seemed rather unhappy.It’s rather a difficult question.It’s getting quite late.Malaria is rather common in this area.fairly rather. Fairly is used in both British and American EnglishThe test was fairly easy.It’s a fairly long way to the next town.pretty spoken rather. Pretty is more informal than the other words and is used in spoken EnglishHer French is pretty good.We’re in a pretty strong position.reasonably to a satisfactorylevel or degreeHe plays reasonably well.Let’s just say that I am reasonably confident we’ll win.moderately formal more than a little, but not veryHer family was moderately wealthy.The food was moderately good, but not as good as the food in the other restaurants.Use a moderately high heat.a moderately difficult climbsomewhat formal fairly or to a small degree. Somewhat is used especially when talking about the size or degree of something. It is often used in comparativesThe celebrations were somewhat larger than last year’s.He looked somewhat irritated. a somewhat surprising decisionGRAMMAR: Patterns with rather• You say that you would rather do something: I would rather play than study.✗Don’t say: I would rather to play than study.• You say that you would rather be something: I would rather be rich than poor.✗Don’t say: I would rather to be rich than poor.• You say that you would rather someone did something: I would rather you came in spring.• You say that you would rather someone did not do something, when you don’t want them to do it in the future: I would rather you didn’t say that. • You say that you would rather someone had not done something, when criticizing them for something they have done in the past: I would rather you hadn’t said that.