rarely

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From rare +‎ -ly.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

rarely (comparative more rarely, superlative most rarely)

  1. Not occurring at a regular interval; seldom; not often. [from 16th c.]
    We rarely go to the theatre.
    Rarely do you ever find an eagle this far up the river.
  2. Unusually well; excellently. [from 16th c.]
  3. To a rare degree; very. [from 16th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.32:
      others speake very honourably of his life and death, and in all other circumstances declare him to have beene a most excellent and rarely virtuous man.

Usage notes[edit]

It is grammatically a negative word. It therefore collocates with ever rather than never.

  • Compare We rarely ever go to the theatre. with We almost never go to the theatre.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

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