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- 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.
- Unusually well; excellently. [from 16th c.]
- To a rare degree; very. [from 16th c.]
- 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 32, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes […], book II, London: […] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821:
- 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.
- Compare We rarely ever go to the theatre. with We almost never go to the theatre.
not occurring at a regular interval
to a rare degree
- rarely in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- rarely in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.