[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. rearmost,
  2. rearmouse,
  3. rearrange,
  4. rearrangement,
  5. rearview mirror,
  6. reason,
  7. reason, age of,
  8. reasonable,
  9. reasoned,
  10. reasonedly

Origin of rearward

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

Related formsrear·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

Word Origin and History for rearward



1590s, from rear (adj.) + -ward.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper