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See more synonyms for rear-end on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to drive a vehicle or other conveyance so as to strike the back end of (another vehicle): My car was rear-ended by another driver on the highway.
  2. (of a moving vehicle or other conveyance) to strike the back end of (another vehicle or object): A freight train rear-ended the commuter train this morning.
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Origin of rear-end

First recorded in 1975–80

rear end

  1. the hindmost part of something.
  2. Informal. the buttocks; behind.
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Origin of rear end

First recorded in 1865–70
Also called tail end.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rear-end

posterior, behind, stern, breech

Examples from the Web for rear-end

Historical Examples of rear-end

  • The people were not consulted, except from the rear-end of an observation car.

    The American Occupation of the Philippines 1898-1912

    James H. Blount

  • And again, doing sentinel duty at the rear-end, is the same plea.

  • Would the engineer take the risk of a rear-end collision on a general manager's order?

    The Grafters

    Francis Lynde

  • I caught a rear-end glimpse, with a stiff tail, as big in girth as my body, standing out straight behind.

    The Faith of Men

    Jack London

Word Origin and History for rear-end


"buttocks," 1937, from rear (adj.) + end (n.). As a verb, "to collide (with another vehicle) from behind," from 1976. Related: Rear-ended; rear-ending.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with rear-end

rear end


The back part of anything, especially a vehicle, as in There's a large dent in the rear end of the car.

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The buttocks, as in I'm afraid these pants don't fit my rear end. The noun rear alone has been used in both these senses, the first since the late 1700s and the second since the mid-1900s. The addition of end occurred in the first half of the 1900s.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.