ar·​rear | \ ə-ˈrir How to pronounce arrear (audio) \

Definition of arrear

1 : the state of being behind in the discharge of obligations usually used in pluralThey were in arrears with the rent. [=they had failed to pay the rent when it was due]
2a : an unfinished duty usually used in pluralarrears of work that have piled up
b : an unpaid and overdue debt usually used in pluralpaying off the arrears of the past several months

Examples of arrear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On May 28th the lower house of parliament passed a non-binding motion calling on the government to bring down arrears, and to study mini-BOTs in detail. The Economist, "An idea for a parallel currency resurfaces in Italy," 28 June 2019 Property taxes are assessed in arrears, meaning that the property tax deduction producers take in 2019 is based on production that took place in 2017. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Colorado severance tax collections expected to drop sharply, even though a bust is nowhere in sight," 18 Aug. 2019 The same calculus holds true of squabbles with NATO friends in arrears, and with enemies such as an unhinged North Korea. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Economy, Father of Us All," 23 July 2019 His 14,748 career rushing yards are fourth in NFL history, 521 yards arrears of Barry Sanders. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "Ageless Frank Gore bound for Buffalo and 15th NFL season, but intends to retire a 49er," 8 July 2019 The country also needs foreign assistance, but the IMF has said a financial program will only be possible if Zimbabwe clears its arrears with international institutions -- such as the fund’s sister organization the World Bank -- and other creditors., "Zimbabwe’s Ruling Party Ready to Scrap Mugabe Policies, Officials Say," 6 Mar. 2018 The 25-year-old Texan bumbled his way to a 76 that put him four shots in arrears of winner Francisco Molinari, who certainly played well enough to win but benefited mightily from Spieth’s collapse. Paul Newberry, The Seattle Times, "Masters: What’s wrong with Jordan Spieth?," 11 Apr. 2019 The central bank’s governor, John Mangudya, in an interview at his gated mansion outside Harare, said the government might borrow money from commercial banks to pay off some of the arrears and unlock assistance from development banks for the rest. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Looming Election Is Vital for Zimbabwe," 15 June 2018 The head of the bank said in September that the dictatorships in Havana and Caracas have outstanding loans of $1 billion and both are in arrears. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Bolsonaro’s Hope and Change," 29 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arrear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arrear

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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-

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Statistics for arrear

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for arrear

The first known use of arrear was in 1586

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ar·​rear | \ ə-ˈrir How to pronounce arrear (audio) \

Legal Definition of arrear

1a : the condition of being behind in one's duties or especially financial obligations usually used in pl. in arrears with the rent
b : the condition of being due at the end of a term rather than the beginning usually used in pl. mortgage payments are made in arrears
2 : an unpaid and overdue debt usually used in pl. paying off the arrears of the previous owners

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Spanish Central: Translation of arrear

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