- the back of something, as distinguished from the front: The porch is at the rear of the house.
- the space or position behind something: The bus driver asked the passengers to move to the rear.
- the buttocks; rump.
- the hindmost portion of an army, fleet, etc.
- pertaining to or situated at the rear of something: the rear door of a bus.
- bring up the rear, to be at the end; follow behind: The army retreated, and the fleeing civilian population brought up the rear.
Origin of rear1
- to take care of and support up to maturity: to rear a child.
- to breed and raise (livestock).
- to raise by building; erect.
- to raise to an upright position: to rear a ladder.
- to lift or hold up; elevate; raise.
- to rise on the hind legs, as a horse or other animal.
- (of a person) to start up in angry excitement, hot resentment, or the like (usually followed by up).
- to rise high or tower aloft: The skyscraper rears high over the neighboring buildings.
- rear its (ugly) head. head(def 85).
Origin of rear2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rear
George Cook, a middle-age black man from the Bronx, brought up the rear.‘They Let Him Off?’ Scenes from NYC in Disbelief
December 4, 2014
Shouts came from the rear of the crowd for “no violence,” shouts that went largely unheeded.Mexican Protesters Look to Start a New Revolution
November 21, 2014
At the rear end of the park is a wall or divider maybe six or seven feet high and about twice that wide.Inside Hebron, Israel’s Heart of Darkness
November 21, 2014
Kitty staggered around the corner to the rear of her building, trying to make it home.The Myth of the Central Park Five
October 19, 2014
There is a crash and gray smoke billows from the rear of the tank.Turkish President Kisses Off Kurds Under Siege By ISIS
October 7, 2014
Two field pieces were disposed in the front and two in the rear line.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
Better to strike the rear guard than to feather a shaft in the earth.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
At the rear of the house she shook off his arm and preceded him around the building.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
So that their bodies might rear up, and no man resist their attack.The Babylonian Legends of the Creation
One of these should take his position in the rear of the machine, and one at each end.Flying Machines
W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
- the back or hind part
- the area or position that lies at the backa garden at the rear of the house
- the section of a military force or procession farthest from the front
- the buttocksSee buttock
- bring up the rear to be at the back in a procession, race, etc
- in the rear at the back
- (modifier) of or in the rearthe rear legs; the rear side
- (tr) to care for and educate (children) until maturity; bring up; raise
- (tr) to breed (animals) or grow (plants)
- (tr) to place or lift (a ladder, etc) upright
- (tr) to erect (a monument, building, etc); put up
- (intr often foll by up) (esp of horses) to lift the front legs in the air and stand nearly upright
- (intr ; often foll by up or over) (esp of tall buildings) to rise high; tower
- (intr) to start with anger, resentment, etc
Word Origin and History for rear
"hindmost part," c.1600, abstracted from rerewarde "rear guard, hindmost part of an army or fleet" (mid-14c.), from Anglo-French rerewarde, Old French rieregarde, from Old French adverb riere "behind" (from Latin retro "back, behind;" see retro-) + Old French garde (see guard (n.)). Or the word may be a shortened form of arrear (see arrears).
As a euphemism for "buttocks" it is attested from 1796. Rear admiral is first attested 1580s, apparently so called from ranking "behind" an admiral proper. Rear-view (mirror) is recorded from 1926.
Old English ræran "to raise, build up, create, set on end; arouse, excite, stir up," from Proto-Germanic *raizijanau "to raise," causative of *risanan "to rise" (see raise (v.)). Meaning "bring into being, bring up" (as a child) is recorded from early 15c.; that of "raise up on the hind legs" is first recorded late 14c. Related: Reared; rearing.
c.1300, from Old French rere (see rear (n.)).
"attack in the rear," 17c., from rear (n.).