When you pay a high rate, you pay a lot of money. When you move at a high rate of speed, you go fast. If you are a judge at a contest, you rate the contestants.

It's interesting how one word can have different origins for different meanings. For example, the noun rate, referring to amounts comes from the Latin rata, “a fixed amount.” But the verb rate seems to come from the Scandinavian rata, "to reject." If the person you are dating asks you to rate them against your previous partners, you might change the subject at a high rate of speed.

Definitions of rate

n a quantity or amount or measure considered as a proportion of another quantity or amount or measure

“the literacy rate
“the retention rate
“the dropout rate
Type of:
the quotient obtained when the magnitude of a part is divided by the magnitude of the whole

n amount of a charge or payment relative to some basis

“a 10-minute phone call at that rate would cost $5”
charge per unit
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pay rate, rate of pay
amount of money received per unit time
installment rate, payment rate, rate of payment, repayment rate
the amount of money paid out per unit time
tax rate
rate used to calculate tax liability
interest rate, rate of interest
the percentage of a sum of money charged for its use
freight, freight rate, freightage
the charge for transporting something by common carrier
depreciation rate, rate of depreciation
the rate at which the value of property is reduced; used to calculate tax deduction
exchange rate, rate of exchange
the charge for exchanging currency of one country for currency of another
excursion rate
a reduced rate for a round-trip ticket
a rate of charging by the linear foot of work done
linage, lineage
a rate of payment for written material that is measured according to the number of lines submitted
room rate
the rate charged daily for a hotel room
time and a half
a rate of pay that is 1.5 times the regular rate; for overtime work
bank discount, discount, discount rate
interest on an annual basis deducted in advance on a loan
discount rate
the rate of interest set by the Federal Reserve that member banks are charged when they borrow money through the Federal Reserve System
base rate
the interest rate set by the Bank of England for lending to other banks
prime interest rate
the interest rate on short-term loans that banks charge their commercial customers with high credit ratings
usury, vigorish
an exorbitant or unlawful rate of interest
Type of:
the price charged for some article or service

n a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit

“they traveled at a rate of 55 miles per hour”
“the rate of change was faster than expected”
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(physics) a rate of increase of velocity
(physics) a rate of decrease in velocity
attrition rate, rate of attrition
the rate of shrinkage in size or number
birth rate, birthrate, fertility, fertility rate, natality
the ratio of live births in an area to the population of that area; expressed per 1000 population per year
bits per second, bps
(computer science) the rate at which data is transferred (as by a modem)
crime rate
the ratio of crimes in an area to the population of that area; expressed per 1000 population per year
data rate
the rate at which circuits or other devices operate when handling digital information
death rate, deathrate, fatality rate, mortality, mortality rate
the ratio of deaths in an area to the population of that area; expressed per 1000 per year
dose rate
the quantity of radiation absorbed per unit time
ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, sed rate, sedimentation rate
the rate at which red blood cells settle out in a tube of blood under standardized conditions; a high rate usually indicates the presence of inflammation
flow, flow rate, rate of flow
the amount of fluid that flows in a given time
the rate of flow of energy or particles across a given surface
frequence, frequency, oftenness
the number of occurrences within a given time period
GHz, Gc, gigacycle, gigacycle per second, gigahertz
1,000,000,000 periods per second
growth rate, rate of growth
the rate of increase in size per unit time
Hz, cps, cycle, cycle per second, cycles/second, hertz
the unit of frequency; one hertz has a periodic interval of one second
inflation rate, rate of inflation
the rate of change of prices (as indicated by a price index) calculated on a monthly or annual basis
(mechanics) the rate of change of acceleration
kHz, kc, kilocycle, kilocycle per second, kilohertz
one thousand periods per second
kilometers per hour, kilometres per hour, km/h, kph
the ratio of the distance traveled (in kilometers) to the time spent traveling (in hours)
MHz, Mc, megacycle, megacycle per second, megahertz
one million periods per second
THz, terahertz
one trillion periods per second
metabolic rate
rate of metabolism; the amount of energy expended in a give period
miles per hour, mph
the ratio of the distance traveled (in miles) to the time spent traveling (in hours)
gait, pace
the rate of moving (especially walking or running)
heart rate, pulse, pulse rate
the rate at which the heart beats; usually measured to obtain a quick evaluation of a person's health
rate of return
the amount returned per unit of time expressed as a percentage of the cost
rate of respiration, respiratory rate
the rate at which a person inhales and exhales; usually measured to obtain a quick evaluation of a person's health
rev, revolutions per minute, rpm
rate of revolution of a motor
sampling rate
(telecommunication) the frequency of sampling per unit time
solar constant
the rate at which radiant solar energy is received at the outer layer of the earth's atmosphere
the time between occurrences of a repeating event
speed, velocity
distance travelled per unit time
pace, tempo
the rate of some repeating event
words per minute, wpm
the rate at which words are produced (as in speaking or typing)
audio, audio frequency
an audible acoustic wave frequency
radio frequency
an electromagnetic wave frequency between audio and infrared
infrared, infrared frequency
the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum; electromagnetic wave frequencies below the visible range
angular acceleration
(physics) the rate of change of the angular velocity of a rotating body
angular velocity
(physics) the rate of change of the angular position of a rotating body; usually expressed in radians per second or radians per minute
BMR, basal metabolic rate
the rate at which heat is produced by an individual in a resting state
wave number
the reciprocal of the wavelength of a wave
centripetal acceleration
the acceleration toward the center that holds a satellite in elliptical orbit
cardiac output
the amount of blood pumped out by the ventricles in a given period of time
the growth rates in different parts of a growing organism are the same
femoral pulse
pulse of the femoral artery (felt in the groin)
radial pulse
pulse of the radial artery (felt in the wrist)
ROI, return on invested capital, return on investment
(corporate finance) the amount, expressed as a percentage, that is earned on a company's total capital calculated by dividing the total capital into earnings before interest, taxes, or dividends are paid
Nyquist rate
(telecommunication) the lowest sampling rate that will permit accurate reconstruction of a sampled analog signal
quick time
a normal marching pace of 120 steps per minute
double time
a fast marching pace (180 steps/min) or slow jog
the speed of an aircraft relative to the air in which it is flying
escape velocity
the minimum velocity needed to escape a gravitational field
the speed of an aircraft relative to the ground
excessive velocity
muzzle velocity
the velocity of a projectile as it leaves the muzzle of a gun
peculiar velocity
velocity with respect to the local standard of rest
radial velocity
velocity along the line of sight toward or away from the observer
c, light speed, speed of light
the speed at which light travels in a vacuum; the constancy and universality of the speed of light is recognized by defining it to be exactly 299,792,458 meters per second
(nautical) the minimum rate of motion needed for a vessel to be maneuvered
terminal velocity
the constant maximum velocity reached by a body falling through the atmosphere under the attraction of gravity
the frequency with which a person is present
count per minute, counts/minute
frequency per minute
sampling frequency
(telecommunication) the frequency of sampling a continuously varying signal
infant deathrate, infant mortality, infant mortality rate
the death rate during the first year of life
neonatal mortality, neonatal mortality rate
the death rate during the first 28 days of life
M.M., beats per minute, bpm, metronome marking
the pace of music measured by the number of beats occurring in 60 seconds
channel capacity
the maximum data rate that can be attained over a given channel
neutron flux
the rate of flow of neutrons; the number of neutrons passing through a unit area in unit time
radiant flux
the rate of flow of radiant energy (electromagnetic waves)
Type of:
magnitude relation, quantitative relation
a relation between magnitudes

n the relative speed of progress or change

“he works at a great rate
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fastness, speed, swiftness
a rate (usually rapid) at which something happens
a regular rate of repetition
celerity, quickness, rapidity, rapidness, speediness
a rate that is rapid
deliberateness, deliberation, slowness, unhurriedness
a rate demonstrating an absence of haste or hurry
the pace of things that move relatively slowly
rapidity of movement
immediacy, immediateness, instancy, instantaneousness
the quickness of action or occurrence
despatch, dispatch, expedition, expeditiousness
the property of being prompt and efficient
promptitude, promptness
the characteristic of doing things without delay
haste, hastiness, hurriedness, hurry, precipitation
overly eager speed (and possible carelessness)
execution speed
(computer science) the speed with which a computational device can execute instructions; measured in MIPS
graduality, gradualness
the quality of being gradual or of coming about by gradual stages
slowness by virtue of being leisurely
dilatoriness, procrastination
slowness as a consequence of not getting around to it
Type of:
temporal property
a property relating to time

v estimate the value of

“How would you rate his chances to become President?”
“Gold was rated highly among the Romans”
value anew
appreciate, apprise, apprize
increase the value of
Type of:
appraise, assess, evaluate, measure, valuate, value
evaluate or estimate the nature, quality, ability, extent, or significance of

v assign a rank or rating to

“The restaurant is rated highly in the food guide”
grade, order, place, range, rank
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place in a superior order or rank
put someone or something on a short list
distribute (players or teams) so that outstanding teams or players will not meet in the early rounds
assign a new order to
rank or order as less important or consider of less value
prioritise, prioritize
assign a priority to
arrange in a sequence
rate lower; lower in value or esteem
rate higher; raise in value or esteem
invert, reverse
reverse the position, order, relation, or condition of
change the order of soldiers during a march
cause to appear in a lower class
Type of:
evaluate, judge, pass judgment
form a critical opinion of

v be worthy of or have a certain rating

“This bond rates highly”
Type of:
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

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