- 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
Examples from the Web for arrear
Say, Plornish, though six weeks in arrear to my proprietor, declines.Little Dorrit
The pay of the troops was long in arrear, and they were all mutinous and discontented.The Reign of Mary Tudor
W. Llewelyn Williams.
The pay of the soldiers got more and more hopelessly into arrear.Theodoric the Goth
He had found the treasury empty and the pay of the navy in arrear.The History of England from the Accession of James II.
Thomas Babington Macaulay
Discontent was already prevalent, for the pay of the soldiers was in arrear.Ireland under the Tudors, Volume I (of II)
- Also called: arrearage (əˈrɪərɪdʒ) (sometimes singular) something outstanding or owed
- in arrears or in arrear late in paying a debt or meeting an obligation
Word Origin and History for arrear
c.1300, "at a disadvantage;" mid-14c., "in times past;" late 14c., "in or to the rear;" see arrears. Meaning "behind in duties or payments" is from 1620s.
Idioms and Phrases with arrear
see in arrears.