A rate is an amount of money that a person has to pay for something, especially if a price goes up and down.

  • The rates at that hotel are kind of high.
  • Interest rates on loans are very low right now.
  • The exchange rate in that country favors the U.S. dollar.
  • We were thinking about renting a car in New York, but the rates were too high.

Sometimes a rate refers to speed:

  • The rate at which they were traveling broke the speed limit.
  • Mike is growing quickly. At this rate, he’ll be six feet tall by the time he’s 13.

If you use rate as a verb, the meaning is quite different. To rate something is to give an opinion about quality. A person who rates uses a scale or a ratings system that other people understand.

  • How does this restaurant rate against others that serve the same kind of food?
  • This movie is rated R.
  • How does this car rate in Consumer Reports?

The word "rating" is a noun:

  • The cafe scored a bad rating from the critic who reviewed it.
  • Leonard’s supervisor gave him a high rating on his performance review.
  • The ratings for the Academy Awards show are almost always high.

thumb up He gave the movie a good rating.

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January 11, 2013