Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

arrear

play
noun ar·rear \ə-ˈrir\

Definition of arrear

  1. 1 :  the state of being behind in the discharge of obligations —usually used in plural <in arrears with the rent>

  2. 2 a :  an unfinished duty —usually used in plural <arrears of work that have piled up> b :  an unpaid and overdue debt —usually used in plural <paying off the arrears of the past several months>



Origin of arrear

Middle English arrere behind, backward, from Anglo-French arere, from Vulgar Latin *ad retro backward, from Latin ad to + retro backward, behind — more at at, retro-


First Known Use: 1620



Learn More about arrear

  1. Spanish Central: Translation of "arrear"


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up arrear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 100 pounds 196.5 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ