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December 27, 2022

Rarefied / adjective / rar·e·fied

Rarefied is an adjective that has two very different meanings. Most typically, rarefied air refers to air that is thin in quality or less dense than usual. Rarefied can also be used as an adjective to describe things or ideas that don’t relate to the average person or are esoteric in nature. 

In a Sentence

The rarefied air at the higher altitudes on the mountain made it difficult for the hikers to breathe as they climbed higher.

They rarefied the air inside the community clinic as a safety measure to reduce the likelihood of airborne pathogens and viruses spreading to other patients in the clinic.

The rarefied interests of the local humanitarian group clashed with the rules and regulations set forth by the new city government.


“Rarefied” is a term that originates from the French term rarefaction. Its original definition was “dilution.” The word first appeared in English between the 14th and 16th centuries. Since then, English speakers have used the word rarefied as an adjective to represent things that are less dense or very delicate and esoteric. 


Diluted, Less Dense


Ordinary, Common


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