From Middle Englishrare, from Old Frenchrare, rere(“rare, uncommon”), from Latinrārus(“loose, spaced apart, thin, infrequent”), from Proto-Indo-European*er(e)-, *rē-(“friable, thin”). Replaced native Middle Englishgesen(“rare, scarce”) (from Old Englishgǣsne), Middle Englishseld(“rare, uncommon”) (from Old Englishselden), and Middle Englishseldscene(“rare, rarely seen, infrequent”) (from Old Englishseldsēne; see seldsome).
rare (comparativerarer, superlativerarest)
Very uncommon; scarce.
Synonyms:scarce, selcouth, seld, seldsome, selly, geason, uncommon; see also Thesaurus:rare
Antonyms:common, frequent; see also Thesaurus:common
(of a gas) Thin; of low density.
(Britain, slang) Good; enjoyable.
1981, Chris Difford (lyrics), Glenn Tilbrook (vocal), "Vanity Fair" (song):
Sees her reflection in a butcher shop.
She finds it all quite rare
That her meat's all vanity fair.
rare earth mineral
(gaming) A scarce or uncommon item.
1995, George Baxter, Larry W. Smith, Mastering Magic Cards (page 116)
Most of the time, you do this by trading low-valued rares for more valuable ones or trading uncommons for rares. Other times it's trading cards that are in print for ones that are out of print, or low-value rares for good uncommons.
From a dialectal variant of rear, from Middle Englishrere, from Old Englishhrēr, hrēre(“not thoroughly cooked, underdone, lightly boiled”), from hrēran(“to move, shake, agitate”), from Proto-Germanic*hrōzijaną(“to stir”), from Proto-Indo-European*ḱera-, *ḱrā-(“to mix, stir, cook”). Related to Old Englishhrōr(“stirring, busy, active, strong, brave”). More at rear.
(cooking) Particularly of meat, especially beefsteak: cooked very lightly, so the meat is still red.
Variant of rear.
rare (third-person singular simple presentrares, present participleraring, simple past and past participlerared)
(US, intransitive) To rear, rise up, start backwards.
2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 328:
Frank pretended to rare back as if bedazzled, shielding his eyes with a forearm.
(US, transitive) To rear, bring up, raise.
Principal current, non-literary use is of the present participle raring with a verb in "raring to". The principal verb in that construction is go. Thus, raring to go ("eager (to start something)") is the expression in which rare is most often encountered as a verb.
Compare rather, rath.
rare (comparativemore rare, superlativemost rare)
Rare in The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English
plural and definite singular attributive of rar
Inflected form of raar
rarem (pluralraren, diminutiverareken)
Borrowed (in this form) from Latinrārus. Compare the inherited Old French rer, rere.
“rare” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).