rather


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rather you than me

(set phrase) I'm glad that I don't have to experience what you just mentioned having to do or go through. A: "My boss is making me come in this weekend to do an inventory of the entire store. It's going to take forever!" B: "Wow, rather you than me. I'm going to a baseball game this weekend!"
See also: rather

had rather do something

 and had sooner do something
prefer to do something. (The had is usually expressed as the contraction, 'd.) I'd rather go to town than sit here all evening. They'd rather not.
See also: rather

have one's rathers

 and have one's druthers (More informal with druthers.)
to have what one prefers; to have one's way. If I had my rathers, we'd go out every Friday night. I suspect that if Joe had his druthers, he'd be taking Mary to the dance instead of Jill.
See also: have, rather

I'd rather face a firing squad than do something

Fig. I would prefer to stand and be executed by gunfire than to do something. I'd rather face a firing squad than go shopping the day after Christmas.
See also: face, firing, rather, squad

would rather

would more willingly; would more readily. I would rather have an apple than a pear. I don't like pears. I'd rather live in the north than the south, because I like snow.
See also: rather

had rather

Also, had sooner. Would prefer. For example, I had rather you let me do the driving, or He'd sooner switch than fight. This idiom today is often replaced by would rather. [Late 1500s] Also see just as soon.
See also: rather

would rather

Prefer to, as in We would rather eat dinner before the movie. [Mid-1500s]
See also: rather
References in classic literature ?
If I wasn't too old for such things, I'd rather like to play it over again," said Amy, who began to talk of renouncing childish things at the mature age of twelve.
Clara Belle was rather a successful agent, but Susan, who could only say "thoap," never made large returns, and the twins, who were somewhat young to be thoroughly trustworthy, could be given only a half dozen cakes at a time, and were obliged to carry with them on their business trips a brief document stating the price per cake, dozen, and box.
Elinor could not suppose that Sir John would be more nice in proclaiming his suspicions of her regard for Edward, than he had been with respect to Marianne; indeed it was rather his favourite joke of the two, as being somewhat newer and more conjectural; and since Edward's visit, they had never dined together without his drinking to her best affections with so much significancy and so many nods and winks, as to excite general attention.
I was rather confused, thinking it must be out of the London fashion, but said yes.
Jemima was rather in awe of the collie; she told him the whole story.
Well, sir," returned the clerk, "there's a rather singular resemblance; the two hands are in many points identical: only differently sloped.
There is a stamp of unity, of individual genius upon it, which inclines me to the former hypothesis, though I am not blind to the consideration that this unity may rather have arisen from that consensus of many minds which was a condition of primitive thought, foreign to our modern consciousness.
The other Americans (beside the madman) are two girls, about my own age, one of whom is rather nice.
Yes; I rather think he is coming to consult me professionally.
The true composition of a counsellor, is rather to be skilful in their master's business, than in his nature; for then he is like to advise him, and not feed his humor.
Of a rather amateurish sort, I fear," answered the strange fisherman.
He was a stoutish, fair man, in his shirt-sleeves; his movements were resolute, his mouth firm and his tones final; but his round, rather babyish blue eyes had a bewildered and even wistful look that rather contradicted all this.
Well, I suppose I always had a nasty tongue in me, and rather enjoyed making play with it on provocation; but, if so, I met with my deserts that night.
There was a rather pettish intonation in Fleur-de-Lys's-- laconic words.
Over the door, however, there was one of strange and rather striking shape; it was six or seven feet in length, and not more than a foot in height.