\ ˈrir How to pronounce rear (audio) , 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 How to pronounce rear (audio) \

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 How to pronounce rear (audio) \

Definition of rear (Entry 3 of 4)

: being at the back the rear entrance


\ ˈrir How to pronounce rear (audio) \

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

breed, bring up, foster, nourish, nurse, raise

Synonyms: Noun

back, reverse, tail

Synonyms: Adjective

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

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

For instance, your ovaries might churn out excess androgens that rear their head through PCOS symptoms like acne, excess facial hair, scalp hair loss, and problems conceiving due to irregular or totally absent ovulation. Mary Claire Lagroue, SELF, "Can Diet and Exercise Actually Improve PCOS Symptoms?," 23 Apr. 2019 The only sign that marks this as anything but a clearing in the woods is a metal sculpture of a horse, rearing or dancing on the far side of the field. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Searching for Myself in Alice Neel’s Radical Portraits," 26 Feb. 2019 That includes a supercharger, a nitrous-oxide tank, rear ducktail spoiler, and even an assortment of license plates. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "No Mustang in Your Driveway? Put One Made from Lego on Your Desk," 22 Feb. 2019 Mountains flushed with mineral color reared around apparently boundless horizons. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 When Arrigo reared back and threw a fastball, Bench caught the pitch barehanded. Jon Wertheim,, "Johnny Bench Is Already a Hall-of-Famer, But He's Looking For a New Distinction," 5 July 2018 The typical front or rear drive walk mower uses some form of belt-and-pulley arrangement to direct power from the engine’s output shaft to a gear box on a front or rear axle (or a gear at the wheel). Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Lawn Mower Buyer's Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Buy the Right Mower," 22 Feb. 2019 The male driver intentionally rear-ended one of the two patrol vehicles during the pursuit, Rivarde said, causing the deputy to crash into the sidewall. Michelle Hunter,, "JPSO deputies involved in 2 separate crashes Friday morning," 25 May 2018 He was born here, reared here, raced here, won training titles here. John Cherwa,, "Big 'Cap could be a resume-builder for Accelerate and trainer John Sadler," 8 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If the devices detect intense vibration at the rear of a trailer, shippers can locate the problem and make fixes. Robyn Metcalfe, WSJ, "The Life Story of Your Supermarket Chicken: Food Tracking Goes High-Tech," 21 Feb. 2019 Shrink the bathrooms in the front and the rear each by 7 inches and you’re halfway to an extra row of six seats on a typical narrow-body plane on ultra-low-cost carriers. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "You’re Not Getting Bigger, the Airplane Bathroom Is Getting Smaller," 29 Aug. 2018 Like the best overland vehicles, the Outpost II’s exterior is ready for the toughest off-road trails, thanks to an additional 4.5-inches of high capacity suspension, a 5.7-liter HEMI engine, and burly front and rear bumpers. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Burly truck camper is expedition ready," 6 Aug. 2018 Taylor said camera footage, from the front and rear of the trooper vehicle, will not be provided while the investigation is ongoing. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "As troopers investigate, new details emerge in Seward Highway crash that killed motorcyclist," 12 July 2018 Musk said the sub’s aluminum shell has four ports on the front and rear to connect to oxygen tanks and weighs about 90 pounds. Denise Chow /, NBC News, "Elon Musk's rescue sub is on its way to Thailand," 9 July 2018 So far Funky Pink has held its own nicely, and is now starting to hang off both the front and the rear of the planters. Norman Winter, sacbee, "Soon, you’ll be playing that Funky Pink in your displays," 6 July 2018 Underneath, Land Rover’s unique full-time four-wheel-drive system has been augmented by locking differentials, front and rear. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "This Old Land Rover Is the Best Road-Trip Truck," 1 July 2018 Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, hood-buckling creases and safety stops, energy-absorbing steering column, and high-strength side-door guard beams help protect occupants, along with all the standard air bags. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Nissan Armada full-size SUV has plentyof room for the family, lots of technology," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The car was locked shut from the inside and had the metal chain around a rear-door handle, according to... Katie Honan, WSJ, "Father Is in Custody After Toddler’s Death in Burning Car," 6 May 2019 The gas-electric version of Toyota’s small crossover is quicker and more responsive, more powerful and more capable and smarter about packaging (the new battery pack doesn’t intrude on rear cargo space). WSJ, "2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Great Performance, Even Better Fuel Economy," 19 Apr. 2019 The cavernous cargo cabin measures 39.6 feet long by 10.6 feet wide, with a drive-on, drive-off rear loading ramp for embarking cargo and wheeled vehicles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Is Still Selling the World’s Largest Helicopter, 40 Years After First Flight," 16 Apr. 2019 On Tuesday, Ricciardo’s run was cut short when the rear wing of his Renault flew off, sending him off the track at the next turn. Joseph Wilson, The Seattle Times, "Ricciardo eager to ‘grow’ at Renault after Red Bull exit," 19 Feb. 2019 The e-tron's brain can also just use the front or rear motor should traction conditions require it. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "We’ve driven Audi’s first proper electric car, the 2019 e-tron SUV," 7 Dec. 2018 In Lean, there are no faces, just the back of a man whose young son is trustingly holding on to his dad’s rear pocket. Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, "In Her First Solo Museum Snow, Jordan Casteel’s Humanizing Portraits Get Even Closer," 15 Jan. 2019 The rear camera is often slow and struggles with capturing a photo’s highlights, resulting in something that’s both blown out and washed out. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Motorola and Nokia’s new phones make $350 look like $1,000," 3 Dec. 2018 Land, the driver who captured the crash on his rear camera, said there's inherent risk in race car driving. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Driver survives “crazy” wreck at Alaska race track," 11 June 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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Statistics for rear

Last Updated

15 May 2019

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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
informal : 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 How to pronounce rear (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on rear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rear

Spanish Central: Translation of rear

Nglish: Translation of rear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rear for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rear

Comments on rear

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using a distributed computer network

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