\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

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

Meanwhile, flashbacks reveal the origin splinters in the Pearson family that never quite healed, as old wounds between Kate, Rebecca, and Randall rear their ugly heads. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Season 2 Episode 2 Deals Randall a Truly Devastating Blow," 3 Oct. 2018 As the officer wrestles to put on the cuffs, Weinman turns her head in the direction of an officer, rears her head back and spits. Alex Horton And Marwa Eltagouri,, "'You're about to get dropped!' an officer shouted before punching a woman's head at a N.J. beach," 31 May 2018 Basically, the child-rearing metaphor is a rich idea around which to build a horror film (and at 90 minutes, A Quiet Place doesn’t overstay its welcome). David Sims, The Atlantic, "A Quiet Place Silently Jangles the Nerves," 7 Apr. 2018 Front seat occupants will have about as much room as in a Bolt, and rear-seat occupants will be slightly more squished than in a Leaf. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The new 2019 Hyundai Kona EV is a clever little electric crossover," 24 Oct. 2018 The car behind them doesn't react fast enough and rear-ends the first car. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As you hit the roadways, be aware of these 12 crash-prone intersections in the Milwaukee area," 24 May 2018 Some Democrats had the initial instinct in that fateful winter to try to collaborate with Trump, perhaps on an infrastructure bill — a misguided instinct that, unfortunately, will likely rear its head again. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The lesson of the midterms: resistance works," 7 Nov. 2018 Then an ancient hatred reared its ugly head in Pittsburgh, where an anti-Semitic terrorist killed 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Kevin Mccarthy, WSJ, "Republicans Reach for the Moon," 4 Nov. 2018 Thankfully, nothing so agonizing and formulaic rears its head here, but Odyssey does still suffer from some rather large gameplay quirks, adding an off-putting new system of narrative choices to the series without much benefit. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Assassin’s Creed Odyssey," 4 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In terms of cameras, the Nokia 8.1 has a dual-lens design on the rear with its main 12MP f/1.8 camera joined by a second 13MP sensor for portrait shots. Jon Porter, The Verge, "HMD’s budget Nokia 8.1 comes with Android Pie and an HDR-equipped display," 5 Dec. 2018 Like most teardrops, the kitchen is accessed from the rear of the trailer. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Teardrop trailer features bunkbeds to sleep a family of 4," 23 Oct. 2018 Three 12-volt and one 120-volt AC power outlet (on the rear of the front console) are available for powering mobile devices. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Nissan Armada full-size SUV has plentyof room for the family, lots of technology," 17 June 2018 Four men were shot by a pair in a gray Toyota sedan with a spoiler on the rear, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "4 men shot in northwest Harris County," 3 Apr. 2018 The event will take place on Thursday, March 22, at 6 p.m. at the East Hartford Public Library (Raymond Library), 860 Main St., in Meeting Room 1 on the lower level rear. Courant Community, "Community News For The Valley Edition," 20 Mar. 2018 The windows are on the rear of the building, on Guilford Avenue. Justin Fenton,, "Baltimore City Hall windows shot at with BB gun, police say," 19 Mar. 2018 Samsung, instead, also includes a fingerprint reader on the rear of the phone., "How Samsung’s New Galaxy S9 Compares to the iPhone X," 26 Feb. 2018 Witnesses described the vehicle as a white newer model sedan, with dark tinted windows and blue lights on the rear., "Girl, 10, hospitalized after Fairfield crash; police searching for driver," 5 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And that’s because this big Mercedes-Benz is available in cargo, passenger, and cab chassis configurations in two wheelbases and a choice of single, super single, or dual rear wheels. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The All-New 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Is Pushing Commercial Utility Into the Future," 1 Dec. 2018 All the other advanced driver assists—forward collision avoidance, adaptive cruise and lane keeping, blind spot video cameras, rear cross-traffic alerts, and more—are standard across the Nexo range. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2019 Hyundai Nexo is an upmarket hydrogen fuel-cell SUV," 26 Oct. 2018 Acer The Predator Orion 9000 is so big, that Acer decided to integrate rear wheels and a handle on top. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Acer, Alienware, and HP have all announced desktops with GeForce RTX," 20 Aug. 2018 According to Newsday , Ryan sideswiped another car, stopped and was rear-ended. Fox News, "NY judges overturn conviction in DWI case that killed cop," 11 May 2018 Torque is directed to the rear wheels, which helps keep everything down. Hannah Elliott,, "It’s Easy to Make Mistakes With a 2019 Aston Martin DB11 Volante," 1 May 2018 Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a power liftgate are standard on the two upper trim levels. Steve Siler, Car and Driver, "2019 Cadillac XT4: Finally, a Smaller Caddy Crossover," 29 Mar. 2018 Toyota will tout Avalon's package of safety features, including pedestrian detection, dynamic cruise control, lane departure alert, blind-spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and a standard backup camera. Greg Gardner, Detroit Free Press, "2019 Toyota Avalon looks good, but enters amid waning interest in sedans," 15 Jan. 2018 Things are different now. The DuraForce Pro 2 has three cameras: a wide-angle 4K rear action camera, a 13MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Kyocera’s new rugged phone has a sapphire screen and a fingerprint sensor," 15 Nov. 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

11 Dec 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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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

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having a pattern of small flowers

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