• synonyms


[reer-werd for 1–4; reer-wawrd for 5]
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  1. Also rear·wards. toward or in the rear.
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  1. located in, near, or toward the rear.
  2. directed toward the rear.
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  1. a position at the rear: in the rearward of fashion.
  2. the rear division of a military unit.
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Origin of rearward

1300–50; Middle English rerewarde < Anglo-French. See rear1, -ward
Related formsrear·ward·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for rearward

Historical Examples

  • Presently she grew tired of this, too, and moved to the rearward window.

    In Kings' Byways

    Stanley J. Weyman

  • Frontward was the small lake's grey water, rearward an avenue of limes.

  • Then twelve of them were as it were our Vanguard, other twelve, our Rearward.

  • To recover they were fain, But now did Alvar Fañez on their rearward fall amain.

    The Lay of the Cid

    R. Selden Rose

  • I had to watch the road, of course, so could not turn to witness what was going on rearward.

British Dictionary definitions for rearward


adjective, adverb
  1. towards or in the rearAlso (for adverb only): rearwards
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  1. a position in the rear, esp the rear division of a military formation
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Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper