arrears

[ uh-reerz ]
/ əˈrɪərz /

plural noun

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.

Nearby words

  1. array,
  2. arrayal,
  3. arrayed,
  4. arrear,
  5. arrearage,
  6. arrector,
  7. arrenotoky,
  8. arrest,
  9. arrest of judgment,
  10. arrestable

Idioms

    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

1300–50; noun use of arrear (adv., now obsolete), Middle English arere behind < Middle FrenchLatin ad retrō. See ad-, retro-

Related formsar·rear·age, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arrears


British Dictionary definitions for arrears

arrears

/ (əˈrɪəz) /

noun

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 for arrears

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

arrears

n.

mid-14c., "in times past," from Old French ariere "behind, backward," from Vulgar Latin *ad retro, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + retro "behind" (see retro-). Meaning "balance due" dates from early 15c.; phrase in arrears first recorded 1610s, but in arrearages is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with arrears

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.