Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Rashness noun The quality or state of being rash.

We offend . . . by rashness , which is an affirming or denying, before we have sufficiently informed ourselves.
South.

Syn. -- Temerity; foolhardiness; precipitancy; precipitation; hastiness; indiscretion; heedlessness; inconsideration; carelessness. See Temerity .

Raskolnik (răs*kŏl"nĭk) noun [ Russian raskolenik' schismatic, heretic.] (Eccl.) One of the separatists or dissenters from the established or Greek church in Russia. [ Written also rascolnik .]

Raskolnik noun ; plural Raskolniki or Raskolniks . [ Russian raskol'nik dissenter, from raskol dissent.] The name applied by the Russian government to any subject of the Greek faith who dissents from the established church. The Raskolniki embrace many sects, whose common characteristic is a clinging to antique traditions, habits, and customs. The schism originated in 1667 in an ecclesiastical dispute as to the correctness of the translation of the religious books. The dissenters, who have been continually persecuted, are believed to number about 20,000,000, although the Holy Synod officially puts the number at about 2,000,000. They are officially divided into three groups according to the degree of their variance from orthodox beliefs and observances, as follows: I. "Most obnoxious." the Judaizers ; the Molokane , who refuse to recognize civil authority or to take oaths; the Dukhobortsy , or Dukhobors , who are communistic, marry without ceremony, and believe that Christ was human, but that his soul reappears at intervals in living men; the Khlysty , who countenance anthropolatory, are ascetics, practice continual self- flagellation, and reject marriage; the Skoptsy , who practice castration; and a section of the Bezpopovtsy , or priestless sect, which disbelieve in prayers for the Czar and in marriage. II. "Obnoxious:" the Bezpopovtsy , who pray for the Czar and recognize marriage. III. "Least obnoxious:" the Popovtsy , who dissent from the orthodox church in minor points only.

Rasores (rȧ*zō"rēz) noun plural [ New Latin , from Latin radere , rasum , to scratch. See Rase , transitive verb ] (Zoology) An order of birds; the Gallinæ.

» Formerly, the word Rasores was used in a wider sense, so as to include other birds now widely separated in classification.

Rasorial (-rĭ* a l; 277) adjective (Zoology) Of or pertaining to the Rasores, or gallinaceous birds, as the peacock, domestic fowl, partridge, quail, and the like.

Rasour (rä"sōr) noun Razor. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Rasp (rȧsp) transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Rasped (rȧspt); present participle & verbal noun Rasping .] [ Old French rasper , French râper , to scrape, grate, rasp, from Old High German raspōn to scrape together, to collect, probably akin to English rap . Confer Rap to snatch.]


1. To rub or file with a rasp; to rub or grate with a rough file; as, to rasp wood to make it smooth; to rasp bones to powder.

2. Hence, figuratively: To grate harshly upon; to offend by coarse or rough treatment or language; as, some sounds rasp the ear; his insults rasped my temper.

Rasp noun [ Middle English raspe , Old French raspe , French râpe . See Rasp , v. ]


1. A coarse file, on which the cutting prominences are distinct points raised by the oblique stroke of a sharp punch, instead of lines raised by a chisel, as on the true file.

2. The raspberry. [ Obsolete] "Set sorrel amongst rasps , and the rasps will be the smaller." Bacon.

Rasp palm (Botany) , a Brazilian palm tree ( Iriartea exorhiza ) which has strong aërial roots like a screw pine. The roots have a hard, rough surface, and are used by the natives for graters and rasps, whence the common name.

Raspatorium (răs`pȧ*tō"rĭ*ŭm) noun [ Late Latin ] See Raspatory .

Raspatory (rȧsp"ȧ*to*rȳ) noun [ Late Latin raspatorium : confer French raspatoir . See Rasp , v. ] A surgeon's rasp. Wiseman.

Raspberry (răz"bĕr*rȳ; 277) noun [ From English rasp , in allusion to the apparent roughness of the fruit.] (Botany) (a) The thimble-shaped fruit of the Rubus Idæus and other similar brambles; as, the black, the red, and the white raspberry . (b) The shrub bearing this fruit.

» Technically, raspberries are those brambles in which the fruit separates readily from the core or receptacle, in this differing from the blackberries, in which the fruit is firmly attached to the receptacle.

Rasper (rȧsp"ẽr) noun One who, or that which, rasps; a scraper.

Raspis (răs"pĭs) noun The raspberry. [ Obsolete] Langham.

Raspy (rȧsp"ȳ) adjective Like a rasp, or the sound made by a rasp; grating. R. D. Blackmore.

Rasse (răs) noun [ Confer Malay rāsa taste, sensation.] (Zoology) A carnivore ( Viverricula Mallaccensis ) allied to the civet but smaller, native of China and the East Indies. It furnishes a perfume resembling that of the civet, which is highly prized by the Javanese. Called also Malacca weasel , and lesser civet .

Rasure (rā"zhur; 135) noun [ Latin rasura , from radere , rasum , to scrape, to shave. See Rase , v. ]
1. The act of rasing, scraping, or erasing; erasure; obliteration.

2. A mark by which a letter, word, or any part of a writing or print, is erased, effaced, or obliterated; an erasure. Ayliffe.

Rat (răt) noun [ Anglo-Saxon ræt ; akin to Dutch rat , Old High German rato , ratta , German ratte , ratze , OLG. ratta , LG. & Danish rotte , Swedish råtta , French rat , Ir. & Gael. radan , Armor. raz , of unknown origin. Confer Raccoon .]
1. (Zoology) One of several species of small rodents of the genus Mus and allied genera, larger than mice, that infest houses, stores, and ships, especially the Norway, or brown, rat ( M. decumanus ), the black rat ( M. rattus ), and the roof rat ( M. Alexandrinus ). These were introduced into America from the Old World.

2. A round and tapering mass of hair, or similar material, used by women to support the puffs and rolls of their natural hair. [ Local, U.S.]

3. One who deserts his party or associates; hence, in the trades, one who works for lower wages than those prescribed by a trades union. [ Cant]

» "It so chanced that, not long after the accession of the house of Hanover, some of the brown, that is, the German or Norway, rats, were first brought over to this country (in some timber as is said); and being much stronger than the black, or, till then, the common, rats, they in many places quite extirpated the latter. The word (both the noun and the verb to rat ) was first, as we have seen, leveled at the converts to the government of George the First, but has by degrees obtained a wider meaning, and come to be applied to any sudden and mercenary change in politics." Lord Mahon.

Bamboo rat (Zoology) , any Indian rodent of the genus Rhizomys . -- Beaver rat , Coast rat . (Zoology) See under Beaver , and Coast . -- Blind rat (Zoology) , the mole rat. -- Cotton rat (Zoology) , a long-haired rat ( Sigmodon hispidus ), native of the Southern United States and Mexico. It makes its nest of cotton and is often injurious to the crop. -- Ground rat . See Ground Pig , under Ground . -- Hedgehog rat . See under Hedgehog . -- Kangaroo rat (Zoology) , the potoroo. -- Norway rat (Zoology) , the common brown rat. See Rat . -- Pouched rat . (Zoology) (a) See Pocket Gopher , under Pocket . (b) Any African rodent of the genus Cricetomys . -- Rat Indians (Ethnol.) , a tribe of Indians dwelling near Fort Ukon, Alaska. They belong to the Athabascan stock. -- Rat mole . (Zoology) See Mole rat , under Mole . -- Rat pit , an inclosed space into which rats are put to be killed by a dog for sport. -- Rat snake (Zoology) , a large colubrine snake ( Ptyas mucosus ) very common in India and Ceylon. It enters dwellings, and destroys rats, chickens, etc. -- Spiny rat (Zoology) , any South American rodent of the genus Echinomys . -- To smell a rat . See under Smell . -- Wood rat (Zoology) , any American rat of the genus Neotoma , especially N. Floridana , common in the Southern United States. Its feet and belly are white.

Rat intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Ratted ; present participle & verbal noun Ratting .]
1. In English politics, to desert one's party from interested motives; to forsake one's associates for one's own advantage; in the trades, to work for less wages, or on other conditions, than those established by a trades union.

Coleridge . . . incurred the reproach of having ratted , solely by his inability to follow the friends of his early days.
De Quincey.

2. To catch or kill rats.

Rata (rä"tȧ) noun [ Maori.] (Botany) A New Zealand forest tree ( Metrosideros robusta ), also, its hard dark red wood, used by the Maoris for paddles and war clubs.

Ratability (rāt`ȧ*bĭl"ĭ*tȳ) noun The quality or state of being ratable.

Ratable (rāt"ȧ*b'l) adjective
1. Capable of being rated, or set at a certain value.

Twenty oræ were ratable to [ at] two marks of silver.
Camden.

2. Liable to, or subjected by law to, taxation; as, ratable estate.

3. Made at a proportionate rate; as, ratable payments. -- Rat"a*ble*ness , noun -- Rat"a*bly , adverb

Ratafia (răt`ȧ*fē"ȧ) noun [ French, from Malay arak arrack + tāfīa a spirit distilled from molasses.] A spirituous liquor flavored with the kernels of cherries, apricots, peaches, or other fruit, spiced, and sweetened with sugar; -- a term applied to the liqueurs called noyau , curaçao , etc. [ Written also ratifia and ratafee .]

Ratan (rȧ*tăn") noun See Rattan .

Ratany (răt"ȧ*nȳ) noun (Botany) Same as Rhatany .

Rataplan (rȧ`tȧ`pläN") noun [ French] The iterative sound of beating a drum, or of a galloping horse.

Ratch (răch) noun (Zoology) Same as Rotche .

Ratch (răch) noun [ See Rack the instrument, Ratchet .] A ratchet wheel, or notched bar, with which a pawl or click works.

Ratchel (-ĕl) noun Gravelly stone. [ Prov. Eng.]

Ratchet (-ĕt) noun [ Properly a diminutive from the same word as rack : confer French rochet . See 2d Ratch , Rack the instrument.]
1. A pawl, click, or detent, for holding or propelling a ratchet wheel, or ratch, etc.

2. A mechanism composed of a ratchet wheel, or ratch, and pawl. See Ratchet wheel , below, and 2d Ratch .

Ratchet brace (Mech.) , a boring brace, having a ratchet wheel and pawl for rotating the tool by back and forth movements of the brace handle. -- Ratchet drill , a portable machine for working a drill by hand, consisting of a hand lever carrying at one end a drill holder which is revolved by means of a ratchet wheel and pawl, by swinging the lever back and forth. -- Ratchet wheel (Machinery) , a circular wheel having teeth, usually angular, with which a reciprocating pawl engages to turn the wheel forward, or a stationary pawl to hold it from turning backward.

» In the cut, the moving pawl c slides over the teeth in one direction, but in returning, draws the wheel with it, while the pawl d prevents it from turning in the contrary direction.

Rate (rāt) transitive verb & i. [ Perh. from English rate , transitive verb , to value at a certain rate, to estimate, but more probably from Swedish rata to find fault, to blame, to despise, to hold cheap; confer Icelandic hrat refuse, hrati rubbish.] To chide with vehemence; to scold; to censure violently. Spenser.

Go, rate thy minions, proud, insulting boy!
Shak.

Conscience is a check to beginners in sin, reclaiming them from it, and rating them for it.
Barrow.

Rate noun [ Old French , from Latin rata (sc. pars ), from ratus reckoned, fixed by calculation, past participle of reri to reckon, to calculate. Confer Reason .]
1. Established portion or measure; fixed allowance.

The one right feeble through the evil rate
Of food which in her duress she had found.
Spenser.

2. That which is established as a measure or criterion; degree; standard; rank; proportion; ratio; as, a slow rate of movement; rate of interest is the ratio of the interest to the principal, per annum.

Heretofore the rate and standard of wit was different from what it is nowadays.
South.

In this did his holiness and godliness appear above the rate and pitch of other men's, in that he was so . . . merciful.
Calamy.

Many of the horse could not march at that rate , nor come up soon enough.
Clarendon.

3. Valuation; price fixed with relation to a standard; cost; charge; as, high or low rates of transportation.

They come at dear rates from Japan.
Locke.

4. A tax or sum assessed by authority on property for public use, according to its income or value; esp., in England, a local tax; as, parish rates ; town rates .

5. Order; arrangement. [ Obsolete]

Thus sat they all around in seemly rate .
Spenser.

6. Ratification; approval. [ R.] Chapman.

7. (Horol.) The gain or loss of a timepiece in a unit of time; as, daily rate ; hourly rate ; etc.

8. (Nautical) (a) The order or class to which a war vessel belongs, determined according to its size, armament, etc.; as, first rate , second rate , etc. (b) The class of a merchant vessel for marine insurance, determined by its relative safety as a risk, as A1, A2, etc.

Rate transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Rated ; present participle & verbal noun Rating .]
1. To set a certain estimate on; to value at a certain price or degree.

To rate a man by the nature of his companions is a rule frequent indeed, but not infallible.
South.

You seem not high enough your joys to rate .
Dryden.

2. To assess for the payment of a rate or tax.

3. To settle the relative scale, rank, position, amount, value, or quality of; as, to rate a ship; to rate a seaman; to rate a pension.

4. To ratify. [ Obsolete] "To rate the truce." Chapman.

To rate a chronometer , to ascertain the exact rate of its gain or loss as compared with true time, so as to make an allowance or computation dependent thereon.

Syn. -- To value; appraise; estimate; reckon.

Rate intransitive verb
1. To be set or considered in a class; to have rank; as, the ship rates as a ship of the line.

2. To make an estimate.

Rateable (-ȧ*b'l) adjective See Ratable .

Ratel (rā"tĕl) noun [ French] (Zoology) Any carnivore of the genus Mellivora , allied to the weasels and the skunks; -- called also honey badger .

» Several species are known in Africa and India. The Cape ratel ( M. Capensis ) and the Indian ratel ( M. Indica ) are the best known. The back is gray; the lower parts, face, and tail are black. They are fond of honey, and rob the nests of wild bees.

Ratepayer (-pā`ẽr) noun One who pays rates or taxes.

Rater (rāt"ẽr) noun One who rates or estimates.

Rater noun One who rates or scolds.

Ratfish (răt"fĭsh`) noun (Zoology) Same as Rat-tail .

Rath (răth) noun [ Ir. rath .]
1. A hill or mound. [ Ireland] Spenser.

2. A kind of ancient fortification found in Ireland.

Rath, Rathe (răth) adjective [ Anglo-Saxon hræð , hræd , quick, akin to Old High German hrad , Icelandic hraðr .] Coming before others, or before the usual time; early. [ Obsolete or Poetic]

Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies.
Milton.

Rath, Rathe adverb Early; soon; betimes. [ Obsolete or Poetic]

Why rise ye up so rathe ?
Chaucer.

Too rathe cut off by practice criminal.
Spenser.

Rather (ră&thlig;"ẽr) adjective [ Compar. of Rath , adjective ] Prior; earlier; former. [ Obsolete]

Now no man dwelleth at the rather town.
Sir J. Mandeville.

Rather (ră&thlig;"ẽr; 277) adverb [ Anglo-Saxon hraðor , compar. of hraðe , hræðe , quickly, immediately. See Rath , adjective ]


1. Earlier; sooner; before. [ Obsolete]

Thou shalt, quod he, be rather false than I.
Chaucer.

A good mean to come the rather to grace.
Foxe.

2. More readily or willingly; preferably.

My soul chooseth . . . death rather than my life.
Job vii. 15.

3. On the other hand; to the contrary of what was said or suggested; instead.

Was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.
Mark v. 26.

4. Of two alternatives conceived of, this by preference to, or as more likely than, the other; somewhat.

He sought throughout the world, but sought in vain,
And nowhere finding, rather feared her slain.
Dryden.

5. More properly; more correctly speaking.

This is an art
Which does mend nature, change it rather , but
The art itself is nature.
Shak.

6. In some degree; somewhat; as, the day is rather warm; the house is rather damp.

The rather , the more so; especially; for better reason; for particular cause.

You are come to me in happy time,
The rather for I have some sport in hand.
Shak.

-- Had rather , or Would rather , prefer to; prefers to; as, he had , or would, rather go than stay. "I had rather speak five words with my understanding than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." 1 Cor. xiv. 19. See Had rather , under Had .

Rathripe (răth"rīp`) adjective Rareripe, or early ripe. -- noun A rareripe. [ Obsolete or Prov. Eng.]

Such who delight in rathripe fruits.
Fuller.

Rathskeller (räts"kĕl*lẽr) noun [ G., also ratskeller , prop., town-hall cellar.] Orig., in Germany, the cellar or basement of the city hall, usually rented for use as a restaurant where beer is sold; hence, a beer saloon of the German type below the street level, where, usually, drinks are served only at tables and simple food may also be had; -- sometimes loosely used, in English, of what are essentially basement restaurants where liquors are served.

Ratification (răt`ĭ*fĭ*kā"shŭn) noun [ Confer French ratification .] The act of ratifying; the state of being ratified; confirmation; sanction; as, the ratification of a treaty.

Ratifier (răt"ĭ*fī`ẽr) noun One who, or that which, ratifies; a confirmer. Shak.

Ratify (-fī) transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Ratified (-fīd); present participle & verbal noun Ratifying (- fī`ĭng).] [ French ratifier , from Latin ratus fixed by calculation, firm, valid + -ficare (in comp.) to make. See Rate , noun , and -fy .] To approve and sanction; to make valid; to confirm; to establish; to settle; especially, to give sanction to, as something done by an agent or servant; as, to ratify an agreement, treaty, or contract; to ratify a nomination.

It is impossible for the divine power to set a seal to a lie by ratifying an imposture with such a miracle.
South.

Ratihabition (-hȧ*bĭsh"ŭn) noun [ Latin ratihabitio ; ratus fixed, valid + habere to hold.] Confirmation or approbation, as of an act or contract. [ Obsolete] Jer. Taylor.