- 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
Related Words for in arrearsoutstanding, delinquent, overdue, undetermined, unclear, uncertain, problematic, unresolved, clouded, unpaid, unsettled, payable, scheduled, owed, expected, open, owing, moot, waffling, mature
- 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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Late or behind, especially in payment of money. For example, He's been in arrears on his rent so often that he may be evicted. [First half of 1600s]
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.