• synonyms


  1. the back of something, as distinguished from the front: The porch is at the rear of the house.
  2. the space or position behind something: The bus driver asked the passengers to move to the rear.
  3. the buttocks; rump.
  4. the hindmost portion of an army, fleet, etc.
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  1. pertaining to or situated at the rear of something: the rear door of a bus.
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  1. bring up the rear, to be at the end; follow behind: The army retreated, and the fleeing civilian population brought up the rear.
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Origin of rear

First recorded in 1590–1600; aphetic variant of arrear

Synonym study

5. See back1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rearer

bottom, backside, back, tail, butt, breed, educate, raise, hinder, last, reverse, behind, rearward, hind, posterior, stern, following, postern, mizzen, buttocks

Examples from the Web for rearer

Historical Examples of rearer

  • Equally bad is the horse with no mouth at all, for he is often a rearer or a jibber.

    Riding and Driving for Women

    Belle Beach

  • As such Apollo is κουροτρόφος (“rearer of boys”) and patron of the palaestra.

  • Then the moulting seasons are always periods of trial to the larv, and often of loss to the rearer.

    Butterflies and Moths

    William S. Furneaux

  • Were we right in selecting him out of ten thousand other claimants to be the shepherd and rearer of the human flock?

  • Meantime earth as she brings forth vegetation in spring is Kourotrophos, rearer of Kouroi, or the young men of the tribe.

British Dictionary definitions for rearer


  1. the back or hind part
  2. the area or position that lies at the backa garden at the rear of the house
  3. the section of a military force or procession farthest from the front
  4. the buttocksSee buttock
  5. bring up the rear to be at the back in a procession, race, etc
  6. in the rear at the back
  7. (modifier) of or in the rearthe rear legs; the rear side
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Word Origin for rear

C17: probably abstracted from rearward or rearguard


  1. (tr) to care for and educate (children) until maturity; bring up; raise
  2. (tr) to breed (animals) or grow (plants)
  3. (tr) to place or lift (a ladder, etc) upright
  4. (tr) to erect (a monument, building, etc); put up
  5. (intr often foll by up) (esp of horses) to lift the front legs in the air and stand nearly upright
  6. (intr ; often foll by up or over) (esp of tall buildings) to rise high; tower
  7. (intr) to start with anger, resentment, etc
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Derived Formsrearer, noun

Word Origin for rear

Old English rǣran; related to Old High German rēren to distribute, Old Norse reisa to raise
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 rearer



c.1300, from Old French rere (see rear (n.)).

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"attack in the rear," 17c., from rear (n.).

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"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.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with rearer


In addition to the idioms beginning with rear

  • rear end
  • rear its ugly head

also see:

  • bring up the rear
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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.