arrear

noun ar·rear \ ə-ˈrir \
Updated on: 22 Nov 2017

Definition of arrear

1 : the state of being behind in the discharge of obligations usually used in plural
  • They were in arrears with the rent. [=they had failed to pay the rent when it was due]
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

Recent Examples of arrear from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology 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-



Law Dictionary

arrear

noun ar·rear \ ə-ˈrir \

legal Definition of arrear

1 a : 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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