Etymology
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rarely (adv.)

1520s, "thinly, scantily," from rare (adj.1) + -ly (2). From 1550s as "seldom, not often;" the sense of "finely, excellently" is by 1580s.

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Definitions of rarely

rarely (adv.)
not often;
we rarely met
Synonyms: seldom
From wordnet.princeton.edu