Synonyms for rare

Synonyms for rare DEFAULT

Frequently Asked Questions About rare

How is the word rare different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of rare are choice, dainty, delicate, elegant, and exquisite. While all these words mean "having qualities that appeal to a cultivated taste," rare suggests an uncommon excellence.

rare beauty

In what contexts can choice take the place of rare?

In some situations, the words choice and rare are roughly equivalent. However, choice stresses preeminence in quality or kind.

choice fabric

When is it sensible to use dainty instead of rare?

The meanings of dainty and rare largely overlap; however, dainty sometimes carries an additional suggestion of smallness and of appeal to the eye or palate.

dainty sandwiches

When could delicate be used to replace rare?

Although the words delicate and rare have much in common, delicate implies exquisiteness, subtlety, and fragility.

delicate craftsmanship

When can elegant be used instead of rare?

The words elegant and rare can be used in similar contexts, but elegant applies to what is rich and luxurious but restrained by good taste.

a sumptuous but elegant dining room

When might exquisite be a better fit than rare?

The words exquisite and rare are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, exquisite implies a perfection in workmanship or design that appeals only to very sensitive taste.

an exquisite gold bracelet



Exotic is defined as a strip tease dance.


Not plentiful; not sufficient to meet the demand; hard to get


The definition of limited is something or someone with boundaries or restrictions.


Surpassing what is common or usual; exceptional:


Not occurring regularly; occasional or rare:


Going far beyond the ordinary degree, measure, limit, etc.; very unusual; exceptional; remarkable

almost unobtainable


Not usual, common, or ordinary.


The definition of remarkable is something unusual, extraordinary or worthy of attention.


Containing a large amount of shortening; flaky:


Requiring a large expenditure; costly.

nearly raw


Not identified, ascertained, or established:


The condition or quality of being scarce; inadequate supply; dearth


Not many; a small number of

out of circulation


Being a factor that makes something possible; being a cause of something.


Having little in common with one's associates, family, etc.


The definition of superlative is expressing the very highest degree, or the very best example of something.

not thoroughly cooked


Antique means things that are old or not of a contemporary nature.


The definition of odd is different than the normal, not divisible by two or the one remaining when others are paired.


2013 May-June, David Van Tassel, Lee DeHaan, “Wild Plants to the Rescue", American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:"Š


Rare, as air at high altitudes; not dense


Of relatively little weight; not heavy:

not done

lightly cooked


bleu (both French)


Giving or given freely and abundantly; extravagant:


Outstandingly good of its kind; of exceptional merit, virtue, etc.


Having subcutaneous tissue exposed:


Having no special designation, status, or rank:



Not particularly good; not better than average:



The definition of precious is something of great value or that is greatly loved.


The definition of red is having the color on the end of the spectrum before orange.



Belonging to or reserved for a small select group; exclusive:


Worthy of esteem; deserving to be respected or valued


Of delicate perception or close and accurate discrimination; not easy to satisfy; exact; fastidious.



Being such that comparison is impossible; incommensurable.


So faintly perceptible as to lack clear delineation; indistinct:


Sought out with care; choice. Hence: of rare quality, elegance, or attractiveness; peculiar and refined in kind "” especially with an artificial or pretentious effect.



Serving to identify; distinguishing or characteristic:

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Synonyms:dear, desirable, precious, darling, wanted, desired, pet, favourite, longed-for, to die for
Antonyms:unpopular, unloved, unfashionable, unwanted, for someone’s liking, out of favour, in someone’s bad​/​good books, misbegotten, unrequited
Synonyms:valuable, precious, priceless, irreplaceable, rich, antique, prized, treasured, gilt-edged
Synonyms:slightly, fairly, partly, somewhat, quite, a little, mildly, vaguely, pretty, a bit
Synonyms:dear, desirable, precious, darling, wanted, desired, pet, favourite, to die for
Antonyms:unpopular, unloved, unfashionable, unwanted, for someone’s liking, out of favour, in someone’s bad​/​good books, misbegotten, unrequited
Synonyms:interesting, original, exciting, fascinating, intriguing, gripping, alive, newsworthy, spellbinding, thought-provoking
Antonyms:boring, dull, tedious, uninteresting, humdrum, uninspired, unexciting, dreary, mind-numbing, tired
Synonyms:surprising, amazing, astonishing, sensational, extraordinary, unexpected, staggering, phenomenal, earth-shattering
Synonyms:inadequate, insufficient, scant, meagre, pitiful, miserable, tight, in short​/​limited supply, not go far, deficit
Synonyms:dear, desirable, precious, darling, wanted, desired, pet, favourite, longed-for, to die for
Antonyms:unpopular, unloved, unfashionable, unwanted, for someone’s liking, out of favour, in someone’s bad​/​good books, misbegotten, unrequited
14 OVERUSED ENGLISH WORDS - Stop Using Them! Use these alternatives


This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.


This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.


coming or occurring far apart in time; unusual; uncommon: a rare disease;His visits are rare occasions.

thinly distributed over an area; few and widely separated: Lighthouses are rare on that part of the coast.

having the component parts not closely compacted together; not dense: rare gases;lightheaded from the rare mountain air.

unusually great: a rare display of courage.

unusually excellent; admirable; fine: She showed rare tact in inviting them.



We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

Question 1 of 8

Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Origin of rare


First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English rar(e), rer(e) “light, airy, loose,” from Latin rārus “loose, porous, wide apart, thin, infrequent”




extinct, rare , scarce

Words nearby rare

rapture of the deep, rapturous, raptus, RAR, rara avis, rare, rarebit, rare book, rare earth, rare-earth element, raree show

Other definitions for rare (2 of 3)


(of meat) cooked just slightly: He likes his steak rare.

Origin of rare


First recorded in 1610–20; variant of earlier rear, Middle English rere, hrere, Old English hrēr “(of eggs) lightly boiled”



Other definitions for rare (3 of 3)

verb (used without object),rared,rar·ing.Older Use.

rear2 (def. 6). Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Words related to rare

limited, unusual, singular, uncommon, occasional, extraordinary, strange, unlikely, subtle, scarce, unique, unthinkable, great, delicate, rich, priceless, exquisite, attenuate, deficient, few

How to use rare in a sentence

  • Suddenly the normally rare, top-of-the-line down is popping up all at brands that have never carried it.

    Why We'll See More 1,000-Fill Down Jackets This Fall|Ryan Wichelns|September 12, 2020|Outside Online

  • On rare occasions, vaccines can elicit the same sort of immunological misfiring.

    Here’s what pausing the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial really means|Aimee Cunningham|September 9, 2020|Science News

  • Since then, some vaccines have been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome, but it’s rare.

    Here’s what pausing the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial really means|Aimee Cunningham|September 9, 2020|Science News

  • Overall, serious side effects from vaccines already approved by the FDA are rare.

    AstraZeneca just paused its COVID-19 vaccine trial, and that’s a good thing|Claire Maldarelli|September 9, 2020|Popular-Science

  • In fact, many SEOs generally agree that it is rare to see a full recovery from a Google core update without Google running another Google core update.

    Google says you can recover from core updates without a new core update|Barry Schwartz|September 9, 2020|Search Engine Land

  • Such statements are rare, as the Guards routinely avoid going public with news about the demise of one of their commanders.

    What an Iranian Funeral Tells Us About the Wars in Iraq|IranWire|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • Community policing is expensive and, in an era of budget cuts, increasingly rare.

    How to Solve the Policing Crisis|Keli Goff|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • It was a rare moment of bipartisan unity in partisan Washington.

    Final Chapter for Accused Africa Bomber|Jamie Dettmer|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • The problem, though, is that this advice presumes that death threats are rare and abnormal.

    Cover-Ups and Concern Trolls: Actually, It's About Ethics in Suicide Journalism|Arthur Chu|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • By the time it concluded with a sing-a-long of “XO,” Beyoncé had done the rare thing.

    Bow Down, Bitches: How Beyoncé Turned an Elevator Brawl Into a Perfect Year|Kevin Fallon|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • It has only been a rare and exceptional class hitherto that has gone on learning throughout life.

    The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

  • And the absence of paper and so forth, rendering notebooks costly and rare, made a large amount of memorizing necessary.

    The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

  • Flowers, fruits, and insects were her favorite subjects, and were painted with rare delicacy.

    Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D.|Clara Erskine Clement

  • Father, mother, sister, and brother all played and worked together with rare combination of sympathetic gifts.

    Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II|Rudyard Kipling

  • Wheat gives place to Rye about the same time, and the Potato, at first comparatively rare, becomes universal.

    Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley

British Dictionary definitions for rare (1 of 2)


not widely known; not frequently used or experienced; uncommon or unusuala rare word

occurring seldoma rare appearance

not widely distributed; not generally occurringa rare herb

(of a gas, esp the atmosphere at high altitudes) having a low density; thin; rarefied

uncommonly great; extremekind to a rare degree

exhibiting uncommon excellence; superlatively good or finerare skill

highly valued because of its uncommonnessa rare prize

Derived forms of rare

rareness, noun

Word Origin for rare

C14: from Latin rārus sparse

British Dictionary definitions for rare (2 of 2)


(of meat, esp beef) very lightly cooked

Word Origin for rare

Old English hrēr; perhaps related to hreawraw

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


Rare synonyms for

Synonyms of rare in English:


See US English definition of rare

See UK English definition of rare

See Spanish definition of raro


1‘their rare moments of privacy’


infrequent, few and far between, scarce, sparse, scattered, thin on the ground, golden, like gold dust, as scarce as hen's teeth

occasional, limited, odd, isolated, sporadic, intermittent, unaccustomed, unwonted

British out of the common

2‘a collector of rare stamps and coins’


unusual, uncommon, unfamiliar, out of the ordinary, atypical, singular, remarkable, recherché, special, precious


ordinary, commonplace

3‘he's a man of rare talent’


exceptional, outstanding, unparalleled, peerless, matchless, unique, unequalled, incomparable, unrivalled, inimitable, beyond compare, beyond comparison, without equal, second to none, unsurpassed, surpassing, exquisite, superb, consummate, superior, superlative, first-class, first-rate, special, choice, excellent, very fine

informal A1, stellar, top-notch

rare unexampled

rare - 8 adjectives synonym to rare (sentence examples)


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