1. extremely high or elevated; lofty; exalted: the rarefied atmosphere of a scholarly symposium.
  2. of, belonging to, or appealing to an exclusive group; select; esoteric: rarefied tastes.

verb (used with object), rar·e·fied, rar·e·fy·ing.

  1. to make rare or rarer; make less dense: to rarefy a gas.
  2. to make more refined, spiritual, or exalted.

verb (used without object), rar·e·fied, rar·e·fy·ing.

  1. to become rare or less dense; become thinned: Moisture rarefies when heated.


  1. exalted in nature or character; loftya rarefied spiritual existence
  2. current within only a small group; esoteric or exclusive
  3. (of a gas, esp the atmosphere at high altitudes) having a low density; thin

verb -fies, -fying or -fied

  1. to make or become rarer or less dense; thin out

late 14c., from Old French rarefier (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin rarificare, from Latin rarefacere “make rare,” from rarus “rare, thin” (see rare (adj.1)) + facere “to make” (see factitious). Related: Rarefied.

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