Dictionary

arrear

noun ar·rear \ə-ˈrir\

Definition of ARREAR

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

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