Dictionary: RASP'ING – RAT'I-FI-ER

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RASP'ING, ppr.

Filing with a rasp; grating to a fine powder

RA'SURE, n. [s as z. L. rasura, from rado, rasus. See Rase.]

  1. The act of scraping or shaving; the act of erasing.
  2. The mark by which a letter, word or any part of a writing is erased, effaced or obliterated; an erasure. – Ayliffe.

RAT, n. [Sax. ræt; D. rat; G. ratze; Fr. rat; Arm. raz; Sp. rato; Port. id. a rat, and ratos, sharp stones in the sea that wear cables; probably named from gnawing, and from the root of L. rodo.]

The popular name of several species of the genus Mus, which are rodent mammals, or small quadrupeds that infest houses, stores and ships; a troublesome race of animals. To smell a rat, to be suspicious, to be on the watch from suspicion; as a cat by the scent or noise of a rat.

RAT'A-BLE, a. [from rate.]

  1. That may be rated, or set at a certain value; as, a Danish ore ratable at two marks. – Camden.
  2. Liable or subjected by law to taxation; as, ratable estate. Stat. of Conn.

RAT'A-BLY, adv.

By rate or proportion; proportionally. – Ralegh.

RAT-A-FI'A, n. [Sp.]

A fine spirituous liquor flavored with the kernels of several kinds of fruits, particularly cherries, apricots and peaches. – Sp. Dict. Encyc.

RAT-AN', n. [Malay, rotan; Java, rottang.]

A name applied to stems, the growth of India, and the produce of various species of the genus Calamus, most or all of which are perennial, simple or unbranched, cylindrical, jointed, very tough and strong, from the size of a goose quill to the size of the human wrist, and from fifty to a hundred feet in length. They are used for wicker-work, seats of chairs, walking-sticks, withes and thongs, ropes, cables, &c.


The root of the Crameria triandra, a plant growing in South America. It is used to convert white wine into Port.


One who makes it his business to catch rats.


In clock work, a sort of wheel having twelve fangs, which serve to lift the detents every hour and thereby cause the clock to strike. – Encyc.


In a watch, a small tooth at the bottom of the fusee or barrel, which stops it in winding up. – Encyc.


Among miners, fragments of stone. – Kirwan.

RATE, n. [Norm. rate; L. ratus, reor, contracted from retor, redor or resor. See Ratio and Reason.]

  1. The proportion or standard by which quantity or value is adjusted; as, silver valued at the rate of six shillings and eight pence the ounce. The rate and standard of wit was different then from what it is in these days. – South.
  2. Price or amount stated or on any thing. A king may purchase territory at too dear a rate. The rate of interest is prescribed by law.
  3. Settled allowance; as, a daily rate of provisions. – 2 Kings xxv.
  4. Degree; comparative highth or value. I am a spirit of no common rate. – Shak. In this did his holiness and godliness appear above the rate and pitch of other men's, in that he was so infinitely merciful. – Calamy.
  5. Degree in which any thing is done. The ship sails at the rate of seven knots an hour. Many of the horse could not march at that rate, nor come up soon enough. – Clarendon.
  6. Degree of value; price. Wheat in England is often sold at the rate of fifty shillings the quarter. Wit may be purchased at too dear a rate.
  7. A tax or sum assessed by authority on property for public use, according to its income or value; as, parish rates; town rates; highway rates.
  8. In the navy, the order or class of a ship, according to its magnitude or force. Ships of the first rate mount a hundred guns or upward; those of the second rate carry from 90 to 98 guns; those of the third rate carry from 64 to 80 guns; those of the fourth rate from 50 to 60 guns; those of the fifth rate from 32 to 44 guns; those of the sixth rate from 20 to 30 guns. Those of the two latter rates are called frigates. – Mar. Dict.

RATE, v.i.

  1. To be set or considered in a class, as a ship. The ship rates as a ship of the line.
  2. To make an estimate.

RATE, v.t.1

  1. To set a certain value on; to value at a certain price or degree of excellence. You seem not high enough your joys to rate. – Dryden. Instead of rating the man by his performances, we too frequently rate the performance by the man. – Rambler.
  2. To fix the magnitude, force or order, as of ships. A ship is rated in the first class, or as a ship of the line.

RATE, v.t.2 [Sw. rata, to refuse, to find fault; ryta, to roar, to huff; Ice. reita, or G. bereden, from reden, to speak, Sax. rædan. See Read. It is probably allied to rattle, and perhaps to L. rudo. See Class Rd, No. 71, 76, Ar.]

To chide with vehemence; to reprove; to scold; to censure violently. Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting boy. – Shak. An old lord of the council rated me the other day in the street above you, sir. – Shak.

RAT'ED, pp.

  1. Set at a certain value; estimated; set in a certain order or rank.
  2. Chid; reproved.

RAT'ER, n.

One who sets a value on or makes an estimate.

RATH, a. [Sax. rath, ræthe, hræth, hrathe, hræd or hrad, quick, hasty; Ir. ratham, to grow or be prosperous; from the same root as ready and rash, from the sense of shooting forward. See Ready.]

Early; coming before others, or before the usual time. Bring the rath primrose, that forsaken dies. – Milton.

RATH, n. [Ir. rath, a hill, mount or fortress.]

A hill. [Obs.] – Spenser.

RATH'ER, adv. [Sax. rathor, hrathor; comp. of rath, quick, prompt, hasty, ready. So we use sooner in an equivalent sense. I would rather go, or sooner go. The use is taken from pushing or moving forward. So the Italians use anzi (L. ante, before.) “Ma egli disse, anzi, beati coloro ch'odono la parola di Dio, e l'osservano.” But he said, yea rather, happy are they that hear the word of God and keep it. – Luke xi.]

  1. More readily or willingly, with better liking; with preference or choice. My soul chooseth strangling and death rather than life. – Job vii. Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. – John iii.xxxiv.
  2. In preference; preferably; with better reason. Good is rather to be chosen than evil. See Acts v.
  3. In a greater degree than otherwise. He sought throughout the world, but sought in vain, / And no where finding, rather fear'd her slain. – Dryden.
  4. More properly, more correctly speaking. This is an art / Which does mend nature, change it rather; but / The art itself is nature. – Shak.
  5. Noting some degree of contrariety in fact. She was nothing better, but rather grew worse. – Mark v. Matth. xxvii. The rather, especially; for better reason; for particular cause. You are come to me in a happy time, / The rather for I have some sport in hand. – Shak. Had rather, is supposed to be a corruption of would rather. I had rather speak five words with my understanding. – 1 Cor. xiv. This phrase may have been originally, “I'd rather,” for I would rather, and the contraction afterward mistaken for had. Correct speakers and writers generally use would in all such phrases; I would rather, I prefer; I desire in preference.


A mineral brought from Sweden, of the garnet kind. Its color is a dingy brownish black, and it is accompanied with calcarious spar and small crystals of hornblend. – Philips.

RAT-I-FI-CA'TION, n. [Fr.; from ratify.]

  1. The act of ratifying; confirmation.
  2. The act of giving sanction and validity to something done by another; as, the ratification of a treaty by the senate of the United States.

RAT'I-FI-ED, pp.

Confirmed; sanctioned; made valid.


He or that which ratifies or sanctions.