verb \ˈrir, vt4 & vi2 are also ˈrer\

: to take care of (a young person or animal)

of an animal : to rise up on the back legs with the front legs in the air

: to rise high in the air

Full Definition of REAR

transitive verb
:  to erect by building :  construct
:  to raise upright
a (1) :  to breed and raise (an animal) for use or market (2) :  to bring to maturity or self-sufficiency usually through nurturing care <reared five children> <birds rearing their young>
b :  to cause (as plants) to grow
:  to cause (a horse) to rise up on the hind legs
intransitive verb
:  to rise high
of a horse :  to rise up on the hind legs
rear·er noun

Examples of REAR

  1. <watched a documentary on how wolves rear their young>
  2. <it took all the men in the village to rear the frame for the barn, pulling hard at the ropes until all the sides were standing>

Origin of REAR

Middle English reren, from Old English ̄ran; akin to Old Norse reisa to raise, Old English rīsan to rise
First Known Use: before 12th century


noun \ˈrir\

: the part of something that is opposite to or away from the front part : the back part of something

: the part of your body that you sit on

Full Definition of REAR

:  the back part of something: as
a :  the unit (as of an army) or area farthest from the enemy
b :  the part of something located opposite its front <the rear of a house>
c :  buttocks
:  the space or position at the back <moved to the rear>

Examples of REAR

  1. There are two bedrooms at the rear.
  2. <the rear of the car was sleekly designed>

Origin of REAR

Middle English rere, short for rerewarde rearward
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to REAR

back, reverse, tail
face, forehead, forepart, front

Other Anatomy Terms

bilateral symmetry, carotid, cartilage, dorsal, entrails, prehensile, renal, solar plexus, supine, thoracic, ventral


adjective \ˈrir\

: at or near the back of something

Full Definition of REAR

:  being at the back <the rear entrance>

Examples of REAR

  1. The car's rear bumper was damaged.
  2. <go to the back of the building and look out the rear window and you'll see the eagle>

Origin of REAR

Middle English rere-, from Anglo-French rere backward, behind, from Latin retro- — more at retro
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to REAR


adverb \ˈrir\

Definition of REAR

:  toward or from the rear —usually used in combination <a rear-driven car>

First Known Use of REAR



Next Word in the Dictionary: rear admiralPrevious Word in the Dictionary: reaptdAll Words Near: rear
May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears