- 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 rears
The rears of planes are becoming hell with smaller, harder seats to jam as many passengers in as possible.Flying Coach Is the New Hell: How Airlines Engineer You Out of Room
November 25, 2014
The message that we must send is that racism, in all of its forms, must be fought every time it rears its dangerous head.Violence Erupts When You Tolerate Antisemitism
Dr. Charles Asher Small
April 14, 2014
Is not that Garran Thual, Mark, that rears its head above the others?The O'Donoghue
Charles James Lever
Sometimes he kicks, sometimes he bites, sometimes he rears and smashes things all to pieces.The Rainy Day Railroad War
There is much to be learned always, by getting a glimpse at rears.
When a swarm of hornets attacks a horse, and it rears, who wonders?In The Fire Of The Forge, Complete
It has always appeared to me that Corbus rears too much already.Cradock Nowell, Vol. 1 (of 3)
Richard Doddridge Blackmore
- 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 rears
c.1300, from Old French rere (see rear (n.)).
"attack in the rear," 17c., from rear (n.).
"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.