[reer-werd for 1–4; reer-wawrd 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 formsrear·ward·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for rearward

behind, backward, round, backwards, aback, abaft, about, around, astern, inverted

Examples from the Web for rearward

Historical Examples of rearward

British Dictionary definitions for rearward


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