[ reer ]
See synonyms for: rearrearedrearing on

  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.

  1. the buttocks; rump.

  2. the hindmost portion of an army, fleet, etc.

  1. pertaining to or situated at the rear of something: the rear door of a bus.

Idioms about rear

  1. bring up the rear, to be at the end; follow behind: The army retreated, and the fleeing civilian population brought up the rear.

Origin of rear

First recorded in 1590–1600; shortened variant of arrear

synonym study For rear

5. See back1.

Other definitions for rear (2 of 2)

[ reer ]

verb (used with object)
  1. to take care of and support up to maturity: to rear a child.

  2. to breed and raise (livestock).

  1. to raise by building; erect.

  2. to raise to an upright position: to rear a ladder.

  3. to lift or hold up; elevate; raise.

verb (used without object)
  1. to rise on the hind legs, as a horse or other animal.

  2. (of a person) to start up in angry excitement, hot resentment, or the like (usually followed by up).

  1. to rise high or tower aloft: The skyscraper rears high over the neighboring buildings.

Origin of rear

First recorded before 900; Middle English reren, ræren, reare, Old English rǣran “to raise ”; cognate with Gothic -raisjan, Old Norse reisa

confusables note For rear

1. See raise.

Other words for rear

Other words from rear

  • un·reared, adjective
  • well-reared, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rear in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rear (1 of 2)


/ (rɪə) /

  1. the back or hind part

  2. the area or position that lies at the back: a garden at the rear of the house

  1. the section of a military force or procession farthest from the front

  2. the buttocks: See buttock

  3. bring up the rear to be at the back in a procession, race, etc

  4. in the rear at the back

  5. (modifier) of or in the rear: the rear legs; the rear side

Origin of rear

C17: probably abstracted from rearward or rearguard

British Dictionary definitions for rear (2 of 2)


/ (rɪə) /

  1. (tr) to care for and educate (children) until maturity; bring up; raise

  2. (tr) to breed (animals) or grow (plants)

  1. (tr) to place or lift (a ladder, etc) upright

  2. (tr) to erect (a monument, building, etc); put up

  3. (intr often foll by up) (esp of horses) to lift the front legs in the air and stand nearly upright

  4. (intr ; often foll by up or over) (esp of tall buildings) to rise high; tower

  5. (intr) to start with anger, resentment, etc

Origin of rear

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

Derived forms of rear

  • rearer, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with rear


In addition to the idioms beginning with rear

  • rear end
  • rear its ugly head

also see:

  • bring up the rear

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