had rather

had rather

Would prefer (to do something); would be more inclined or willing (to do something). I had rather not talk to you right now.
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
References in classic literature ?
He decided that he wasn't in real danger, that he had rather clinched his precautions.