rear

1 of 4

verb

ˈrir How to pronounce rear (audio)
 transitive sense 4 & intransitive sense 2 are also  ˈrer
reared; rearing; rears

transitive verb

1
: to erect by building : construct
2
: to raise upright
3
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 (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
rearer noun

rear

2 of 4

noun

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

rear

3 of 4

adjective

: being at the back
the rear entrance

rear

4 of 4

adverb

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

Verb 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 Noun There are two bedrooms at the rear. the rear of the car was sleekly designed Adjective 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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
There’s 2 million Arabs living in poverty and misery in the Gaza Strip, and eventually the resistance or terrorism will rear up again. Stuart Miller, Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2023 Lake Powell commandeered the Colorado’s payloads of silt and stymied natural floods, erasing channels and backwaters where chubs and suckers once spawned and reared. WIRED, 4 Nov. 2023 Republican presidential candidates are grappling with how to stem the tide of campus antisemitism that reared its ugly head after Hamas terrorists slaughtered 1,400 Israelis in a surprise attack earlier this month. Brittany Bernstein, National Review, 25 Oct. 2023 Mark Kelly Sarasota, Fla. Anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head at Harvard. Richard Corcoran, WSJ, 8 Nov. 2023 What is clear is that such bans are upending the academic and social norms of a generation reared on cellphones. Natasha Singer, New York Times, 31 Oct. 2023 The supernatural also rears its head in Brontë’s other juvenile works. V.m. Braganza, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Oct. 2023 In a mirror image of the situation of a decade ago, when nationalist Armenians claimed Azerbaijani lands, Azerbaijani irredentism is now rearing its head. Thomas De Waal, Foreign Affairs, 26 Sep. 2023 Thanks to modern fish farming techniques, beluga caviar can now be obtained from fish reared in hatcheries. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 19 Oct. 2023
Noun
McLellan has learned to mix pat-on-the-back encouragement with the occasional kick in the rear to motivate Dubois. Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023 But Greenberg’s favorite feature is the lineup of six USB ports in the rear. Sarah Grossbart, wsj.com, 10 Nov. 2023 Three years ago, the New York Department of Sanitation ordered seven electric rear loader garbage trucks made by Mack LR Electric. Eden Villalovas, Washington Examiner, 9 Nov. 2023 That nose is pert and low, leading back to angular fender flares and a pronounced swell at the rear. Tim Stevens, Ars Technica, 25 Oct. 2023 After the cockpit confrontation, Emerson was taken to the rear of the aircraft, but then attempted to grab the handle of an emergency exit during the flight’s descent, according to a release from the US attorney’s office. Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN, 25 Oct. 2023 When Clayton arrived at the casino, flames were lapping at the rear of the building and threatened a 10,000-gallon propane tank. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Oct. 2023 But last month, employees stripped dozens of them and placed them at the rear of the lot, away from the public, as part of an all-out quarantine effort aimed at eradicating one of the most destructive pests in the world: the Mediterranean fruit fly. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2023 However, Emerson then tried to open an emergency exit door at the rear of the plane, only to be stopped by a flight attendant. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 3 Nov. 2023
Adjective
There’s no formal dining area here, with the rear deck doubling as an alfresco dining spot. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 17 Nov. 2023 Beyond just the headroom, the rear seat of the Polestar 4 is a seriously nice place to be. Daniel Golson, The Verge, 14 Nov. 2023 Folding the rear seats expands cargo capacity to 903 liters (31.9 cubic feet), on par with a Nissan Leaf EV. IEEE Spectrum, 8 Nov. 2023 Onstage visuals come from a rear projection screen, which further softens the content, giving it an archival feel. Melinda Sheckells, Variety, 3 Nov. 2023 But this image is embedded in an elaborate, symphonic collage of experiences, from their view of foliage on the road behind them and the sight of Isaiah at the wheel through the cab’s rear window to the hair styles and dresses that the girls wear. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 2 Nov. 2023 An impressive 21-foot terrace that overlooks a sprawling rear garden. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 30 Oct. 2023 The front sight has a taller blade and an aiming point ringed in photoluminescent paint, while the rear sight is outlined in black and features a wider U-shaped notch. T. Logan Metesh, Field & Stream, 25 Oct. 2023 According to police, the Cruise vehicle then braked, with its rear tire still on top of the woman’s leg. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 24 Oct. 2023
Adverb
Additionally, parents who don’t plan to travel with their children in their laps (which is not necessarily recommended), should consider a rear-facing car seat. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 13 Apr. 2023 Buona fortuna getting those rear-hinged back doors to hang straight again. Dan Neil, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2023 This model introduces Cannondale’s new SmartSense system, which integrates a headlight, taillight, and rear-facing radar into a discrete central battery. Kevin Brouillard, Travel + Leisure, 22 Feb. 2023 The car had rear-ended the semi-truck and ended up in the grass, officials said. Megan Jones, Chicago Tribune, 18 Jan. 2023 Bass, who was driving a Mercedes-Benz on Woodward Avenue, reportedly rear-ended the Jeep Cherokee that the coach, Ben Jones, 30, was driving, setting off a chain reaction. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 27 Oct. 2022 The driver then reversed and backed into another car, before pulling forward and rear-ending the first car a second time. cleveland, 19 Sep. 2022 This may sound like it has been lifted from the brochure, but a prod of the accelerator out of a low-speed corner really does make the car feel rear-driven. Alistair Charlton, Forbes, 26 Dec. 2021 The man's vehicle reportedly rear-ended an SUV, causing a rollover crash that resulted in the death of a woman, according to police. Salma Reyes, The Arizona Republic, 21 Sep. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

Noun

Middle English rere, short for rerewarde rearward

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

1855, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near rear

Cite this Entry

“Rear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rear. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

rear

1 of 3 verb
1
: to put up by building : construct
2
: to raise or set on end
3
a
: to take care of the breeding and raising of
rear cattle
b
: to bring by continuous care to a stage at which one is fully grown or self-sufficient
rear children
4
: to rise high
5
: to rise up on the hind legs
the horse reared in fright

rear

2 of 3 noun
1
: the part (as of an army) or area farthest from the enemy
2
3
: the space or position at the back

rear

3 of 3 adjective
: being at the back

More from Merriam-Webster on rear

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!