[ reer-werd for 1–4; reer-wawrd for 5 ]
/ ˈrɪər wərd for 1–4; ˈrɪər wɔrd for 5 /


Also rear·wards. toward or in the rear.


located in, near, or toward the rear.
directed toward the rear.


a position at the rear: in the rearward of fashion.
the rear division of a military unit.

Origin of rearward

1300–50; Middle English rerewarde < Anglo-French. See rear1, -ward

Related forms

rear·ward·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rearward

British Dictionary definitions for rearward


/ (ˈrɪəwəd) /

adjective, adverb

towards or in the rearAlso (for adverb only): rearwards


a position in the rear, esp the rear division of a military formation

Word Origin for rearward

C14 (as a noun: the part of an army positioned behind the main body of troops): from Anglo-French rerewarde, variant of reregarde; see rearguard
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