- the state of being behind or late, especially in the fulfillment of a duty, promise, obligation, or the like: Many homeowners have fallen into arrears.
- Sometimes arrear. something overdue in payment; a debt that remains unpaid: Those countries that have paid their arrears may be granted additional loans.
- in arrears, behind or late, especially in payment: She was three months in arrears on her mortgage and credit card payments.Also Chiefly Law, in arrear.
Origin of arrears
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for arrears
He has a right to claim six years' arrears—that is above L100,000.Night and Morning, Complete
So, that just when I might have had all arrears paid up, perhaps, and perhaps—who knows?The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby
He was a clerk in a department store, and his board was generally in arrears.Cap'n Warren's Wards
Joseph C. Lincoln
The landlord had called that morning for his rent, which was long in arrears.The Shadow of a Crime
Can you get all your arrears of penitence done up in six weeks, Sally?The Dominant Strain
Anna Chapin Ray
- Also called: arrearage (əˈrɪərɪdʒ) (sometimes singular) something outstanding or owed
- in arrears or in arrear late in paying a debt or meeting an obligation
C18: from obsolete arrear (adv) behindhand, from Old French arere, from Medieval Latin adretrō, from Latin ad to + retrō backwards
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for arrears
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with arrears
see in arrears.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.