\ˈrir, senses vt 4 & vi 2 are also ˈrer\
reared; rearing; rears

Definition of rear 

(Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to erect by building : construct

2 : to raise upright

3a(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 (plants) to grow

4 : to cause (a horse) to rise up on the hind legs

intransitive verb

1 : to rise high

2 of a horse : to rise up on the hind legs


\ˈrir \

Definition of rear (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : the back part of something: such 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

2 : the space or position at the back moved to the rear


\ˈrir \

Definition of rear (Entry 3 of 4)

: being at the back the rear entrance


\ˈrir \

Definition of rear (Entry 4 of 4)

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

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Other Words from rear


rearer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for rear

Synonyms: Verb

assemble, build, confect, construct, erect, fabricate, make, make up, piece, put up, raise, set up

Synonyms: Noun

back, reverse, tail

Synonyms: Adjective

aft, after, back, hind, hinder, hindmost, posterior, rearward

Antonyms: Verb

demount, disassemble, dismantle, dismember, knock down, strike, take down, tear down

Antonyms: Noun

face, forehead, forepart, front

Antonyms: Adjective

anterior, fore, forward, front, frontal

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Choose the Right Synonym for rear


lift, raise, rear, elevate, hoist, heave, boost mean to move from a lower to a higher place or position. lift usually implies exerting effort to overcome resistance of weight. lift the chair while I vacuum raise carries a stronger implication of bringing up to the vertical or to a high position. scouts raising a flagpole rear may add an element of suddenness to raise. suddenly reared itself up on its hind legs elevate may replace lift or raise especially when exalting or enhancing is implied. elevated the taste of the public hoist implies lifting something heavy especially by mechanical means. hoisted the cargo on board heave implies lifting and throwing with great effort or strain. heaved the heavy crate inside boost suggests assisting to climb or advance by a push. boosted his brother over the fence

Examples of rear in a Sentence


watched a documentary on how wolves rear their young 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


There are two bedrooms at the rear. the rear of the car was sleekly designed


The car's rear bumper was damaged. go to the back of the building and look out the rear window and you'll see the eagle
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That’s why experts traveled into the San Gabriels this week to release 500 tadpoles, reared in the quiet confines of the L.A. Zoo, into a remote creek., "Today: If Roe Vs. Wade Is Overturned," 29 June 2018 Many of the homes in Avalon Park include a front or rear multi-car garage. Lisa Maria Garza,, "Avalon Park parking limited to one side of street to avoid tight squeezes for emergency vehicles," 22 May 2018 The sale will feature several milkweed varieties, the only family of plants on which monarchs can rear their young, as well as wildflowers known to attract adult monarchs and bees for their nectar. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Monarch Trail annual plant sale set for June 3," 21 May 2018 Many scientists blame deforestation, generated in large part by cattle rearing, for global climate change and less predictable rain patterns in the Amazon. Paulo Trevisani, WSJ, "One Small Rancher’s Big Role in Saving Brazil’s Amazon," 19 May 2018 But when human footprints are also nearby, a sloth’s path sometimes takes sharp turns or indicates the animals reared up on their hind legs. Sid Perkins, Science | AAAS, "Ancient human-sloth hunt hinted at in 15,000-year-old footprints," 25 Apr. 2018 Speaking of serious problems that rear their ugly heads, let’s talk about the bad news. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The F-35 Is About To Get Cheaper. Now Here's the Bad News.," 12 Apr. 2018 An investigation by the USA TODAY Network's Pacific Daily News unearthed allegations of decades of assault, manipulation and intimidation by several priests of children reared on this remote, predominantly Catholic U.S. territory. Pacific Daily News, "Guam archbishop guilty of sexual abuse, exiled from island, Vatican tribunal rules," 16 Mar. 2018 The 31-year-old South African then reared back and served out the biggest win of his career. Jon Wertheim,, "Four Thoughts From Four Quarterfinals: Rafa-Djokovic to Meet, Federer Upset," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His motorcycle slid into the rear of a Monte Carlo, Wojas said. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Motorcyclist hospitalized after sideswiping vehicle on I-80/94, police say," 19 June 2018 Hives would be allowed in rear, side and front yards. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Will County addresses growing demand for barn weddings, beekeeping and tasting rooms," 11 July 2018 Multiple people suffered serious injuries, including two who fell to the ground out of the rear of the car, after the ride’s front car came completely off the tracks, the report said. Jennifer Kay, The Seattle Times, "Florida: Excessive speed caused roller coaster derailment," 10 July 2018 However, be aware that at the rear of the vehicle there is usually a low-pressure air zone — what some may refer to as a partial vacuum. Bob Weber,, "Drivers can ship your car cross country," 8 July 2018 Police said suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, opened fire with a shotgun and a .38 caliber revolver in an art complex located at the rear of the school around 7:30 a.m. Friday. Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, "One Santa Fe student's struggle to cope: Church, baking, friends — and a plea to arm teachers," 23 May 2018 About a dozen rows back, at the rear of the plane, a woman identified only as Emily had also been asleep. The Washington Post,, "A man's grabby hands were just the start of a Frontier plane nightmare, FBI says," 21 May 2018 Flags are available in a marked container at the rear of the cemetery office, 7789 Lewis Road. Joanne Berger Dumound/special To,, "Art creativity thrives in Olmsted Falls schools and community: Olmsted Dates and Data," 14 May 2018 Criminal damage Someone broke the rear driver’s side window of a car parked in the 7100 block of Roosevelt Road between 9:15 p.m. and 11:23 p.m. July 11. Staff Report,, "Police: Oak Park resident robbed while walking on Austin Boulevard," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Upon arrival, officers heard someone yelling from the rear yard of the residence, according to police. Jennifer Baker,, "Police shoot, kill pit bull after 2 attacked in NKY," 13 July 2018 Roman Navarro, 47, of 10000 block of South Avenue in Chicago, was cited July 8 for driving without a valid driver’s license and driving without a rear bumper on the 1900 block of Willow Road. Brian Cox,, "Police blotter: Flower pots, light fixtures in Winnetka damaged with spray paint," 12 July 2018 At some point overnight, the three attacked him, spray painted his face, then used a logging chain to tie him to the rear bumper of the truck. New York Times, "In Texas, a Decades-Old Hate Crime, Forgiven but Never Forgotten," 9 July 2018 Turning too tightly can cause a trailer tongue to make contact with and damage your rear bumper or bring the trailer too close to obstacles like curbs and parked cars. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "How to Tow a Trailer," 19 June 2018 Schmitz was four-wheel-drifting though every corner, with the big BMW digging in and showing its humble rear bumper (no quad exhaust howitzers on the 540) to many a Porsche. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Why You Should Always Buy the Second-Fastest Car," 1 June 2018 Of course, the altercation startled the driver, who reversed into a pole in the parking lot, causing minor damage to the rear bumper, according to authorities. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "‘Get Out of My Country’: Florida Man Arrested After Attacking Men with Knife, Stun Gun at McDonald’s: Report," 24 May 2018 The car is missing the front passenger window and the rear bumper is partially hanging off, police said. Anna Beahm,, "Missing 3-year-old boy found safe in Mobile," 30 Apr. 2018 Various challengers – mainly Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch – nipped at his rear bumper, but no one could ever fully catch him. Brendan Marks, charlotteobserver, "NASCAR: Victory 5 years in making, as was Clint Bowyer’s celebration at Martinsville | Charlotte Observer," 26 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Three Georgians, including two teens, were killed Sunday night when their vehicle rear-ended a tractor-trailer on I-75 South in Tennessee, authorities said. Steve Burns, ajc, "Georgia teens among 3 killed in Tennessee crash," 11 July 2018 The first came in 2009, when my car was rear-ended., "I Was an Undocumented Immigrant for 14 Years—Now I’m Fighting to Protect the Rights of Others," 26 June 2018 Buy Photo A 32-year-old woman died Sunday after her motorcycle rear-ended the back of a pickup truck on Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia police said. Jeremy Roebuck,, "Motorcyclist killed after rear-ending truck on Roosevelt Blvd.," 24 June 2018 Two motorcyclists were speeding west on the highway when one of them rear-ended a car. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "Motorcyclist killed in crash on I-66," 13 June 2018 Tempe police said Davis rear-ended Jiang's vehicle then got out of her car and shot the woman, whose vehicle then veered into an oncoming car, injuring five other people. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "Family of slain ASU student protests plea deal ahead of sentencing," 9 June 2018 The driver said his car was rear-ended by a black Jeep Cherokee that was being driven in an aggressive manner, police said. Laney Ruckstuhl,, "Beverly man charged with driving drunk, pointing gun at driver on highway," 22 May 2018 Police in Utah are investigating whether a fast-moving Tesla car that rear-ended a fire truck on Friday was in autopilot mode. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Tesla, possibly on autopilot, slams into truck in dramatic Utah wreck," 13 May 2018 Earle's patrol vehicle rear-ended a 2015 Toyota Camry that was driven by 31-year-old Jonathan Baker, of Huntsville, records show. Ashley Remkus,, "Policeman who died wrecked partrol car twice in less than an hour, reports say," 10 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rear.' 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 rear


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1855, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rear


Middle English reren, from Old English rǣran; akin to Old Norse reisa to raise, Old English rīsan to rise


Middle English rere, short for rerewarde rearward


Middle English rere-, from Anglo-French rere backward, behind, from Latin retro- — more at retro

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Phrases Related to rear

rear/raise its ugly head

Statistics for rear

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rear

The first known use of rear was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for rear



English Language Learners Definition of rear

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of rear (Entry 2 of 3)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of rear (Entry 3 of 3)

: at or near the back of something


\ˈrir \
reared; rearing

Kids Definition of rear

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to rise up on the hind legs The horse reared in fright.

2 : to bring up They wanted to rear children in the country.

3 : to rise high

4 : to take care of the breeding and raising of rear cattle



Kids Definition of rear (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the space or position at the back Go to the rear of the building.

2 : the part (as of an army) or area farthest from the enemy

3 : the human buttocks



Kids Definition of rear (Entry 3 of 3)

: being at the back a rear tire

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Comments on rear

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