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Something that is hard to find or doesn’t happen very often might be rare.

  • Dan found a rare coin that is worth a lot of money.
  • It’s rare to see so many geese at this time of year.
  • The Rolling Stones made a rare appearance in Cuba last week.
  • For a woman to give birth to quintuplets is very rare. (quintuplets = five babies)
  • A blue moon is a rare event.

We also use "rare" to describe a beefsteak that has not been cooked for very long. A steak ordered rare will be red inside.

  • Vince ordered a steak cooked rare.
  • His wife ordered her steak medium-rare. (It was cooked a little longer than rare.)

Adding an "ly" ending to "rare" creates the adverb "rarely." This has almost the same meaning as "almost never."

  • She rarely wakes up before 9 a.m.
  • We rarely see snow in September.
  • Nathaniel is rarely in school. He’s not a very good student.

Note: The two "r" sounds in the word "rare" might be difficult for some students. If you have trouble with this, click here to practice your "r" sounds.

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The page was first published on September 27, 2012. It was updated on March 29, 2016.



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