\ ˈrir How to pronounce rear (audio) , transitive sense 4 & intransitive sense 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

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The sunflower sea star project was designed to demonstrate the viability of captive breeding and to develop techniques to rear larvae. Todd Woody, Anchorage Daily News, "Scientists are breeding sea stars in a lab in a Jurassic Park approach to combating climate change," 3 May 2021 Those limits that had yet to rear their ugly heads for the 17-year-old finally arose. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Conard’s Gavin Sherry, one of the nation’s best runners, is now looking to reach new limits after an unconventional year of competition," 22 Apr. 2021 But public health experts warn that vigilance remains key as more contagious variants begin to rear their heads. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "A milestone for COVID vaccinations as all U.S. adults are eligible," 19 Apr. 2021 Torque distribution—though only notional in this regime—ranges from 100:0 to 20:80, front to rear. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2021 Toyota Sienna: A Rare Hybrid Minivan Even a Teen Can Love," 9 Apr. 2021 Pay special attention to rear-facing weight limits. Bre Richey,, "The best car seat for a one-year-old," 1 Apr. 2021 Our take: This is a great choice for parents who want to rear-face for an extended amount of time since the weight limit is on the higher side at 50 pounds. Bre Richey,, "The best car seat for a one-year-old," 1 Apr. 2021 The Hollywood theater was limited to 100 guests, and alternating rows of seats were blocked to create forward and rear spacing of six feet. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, "The scent of popcorn, the silver screen: L.A.’s movie theater fans finally get their fix," 21 Mar. 2021 However, for decades and across all levels, job types and industries, the pay gap and discrimination as a whole has continued to rear its head. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "'Inequality still exists': Congresswoman to hold hearing on pay gap on Equal Pay Day," 24 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those who snagged a slot will be treated to a truck with three motors (one up front and two in the rear) that produce a rather outrageous 1,000 horsepower and accelerate this truck from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds., "5 new EVs to wait for in 2021," 6 May 2021 Currently, the car rides on a live axle in the rear, located by two trailing arms. David Beard, Car and Driver, "NASCAR Reveals Next Gen Race Car, and We Dive Deep into the Specs," 5 May 2021 To be specific, my upper arm in the rear, with a strange new pocket of femininity developing just to the interior of my elbow, on both sides. New York Times, "Back in the Girdle Again: Getting Fitted After a Year Untouched," 4 May 2021 Based on the exterior of the A6 e-tron, expect the interior to be roomier, especially in the rear. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "Audi’s Newest E-Tron Sedan Concept Can Drive 435 Miles on a Single Charge," 19 Apr. 2021 The coupe-like roofline swoops low over the cockpit without pausing for a notchback trunk, allowing for a big liftgate in the rear. Jason Fogelson, Forbes, "Audi A6 E-Tron Concept Debuts At Auto Shanghai 2021," 19 Apr. 2021 Head, shoulder and leg room is plentiful up front, though more cramped in the rear. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Impressive Cadillac XT4 carving a niche for itself (review)," 20 Mar. 2021 That’s why the board has a DisplayPort input for the graphics card in the rear. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Why Asus just made the first Thunderbolt 4 motherboard for Ryzen CPUs," 15 Mar. 2021 Perhaps the most liberating area to reimagine, say the designers, was the sprawling family room in the rear, an addition that Soby commissioned as a gallery for his Calders, de Chiricos, Rousseaus, and Matisses. Catherine Hong, ELLE Decor, "Legendary Artists Once Partied at this Connecticut Greek Revival," 17 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Still, the race for herd immunity that could help put the pandemic in the nation's rear-view mirror is not going entirely smoothly. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, "12-15-year-olds could qualify for vaccines this week; strain found in India a 'variant of concern,' WHO says: Live COVID-19 updates," 11 May 2021 But as Robbie pauses to take a breath, the driver hears the whoop whoop, sees the red and blue flashing in his rear view. Brian Trapp, Longreads, "You Robbie, You Baka," 30 Apr. 2021 But as Robbie pauses to take a breath, the driver hears the whoop whoop, sees the red and blue flashing in his rear view. Brian_trapp, Longreads, "You Robbie, You Baka," 29 Apr. 2021 This, along with road-bias tires and mudguards, includes the brake lights, turn signals, reflectors and rear-view mirrors needed to make the buggy fully street legal. Alistair Charlton, Forbes, "Now There’s A Tamiya Buggy You Can Actually Drive Yourself," 28 Apr. 2021 That threat of a $3 gallon of gas is getting more and more distant in the rear-view mirror as prices in Florida declined again hitting the lowest average price per gallon in seven weeks. Richard Tribou,, "Gas prices continue to fall back from March highs," 26 Apr. 2021 From that moment onward, Ms. Dougan’s beautiful rear view became tabloid fodder for Hollywood gossip columns — and inspired a profuse number of groan-inducing puns. New York Times, "What Happened to Vikki Dougan?," 21 Apr. 2021 Out in far suburbia, suburban cineplexes left most of the single-screen showplaces in the rear-view mirror. Los Angeles Times, "Financial ruin. Possible destruction. What will be the Cinerama’s Hollywood ending?," 20 Apr. 2021 Authorities said he was stopped for expired registration when officers noticed another violation: an air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror. NBC News, "Mother of Daunte Wright's child expresses grief that he will grow up without his father," 16 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Arlington police said the incident happened around 2:31 a.m. on April 17 at Washington and Arlington boulevards when a tractor-trailer was rear-ended by a pickup truck. Washington Post, "Man, 19, dies after crashing into a tractor-trailer earlier this month," 29 Apr. 2021 To ensure your child doesn’t outgrow the rear-facing weight and height dimensions, choose your car seat carefully. Bre Richey,, "The best car seat for a one-year-old," 1 Apr. 2021 Babbitt spun her white SUV in a U-turn and began chasing Norris, according to the petition, eventually rear-ending the other woman’s car three times and forcing her to stop. Anchorage Daily News, "Ashli Babbitt’s journey from capital ‘guardian’ to invader," 11 Jan. 2021 Babbitt spun her white SUV in a U-turn and began chasing Norris, according to the petition, eventually rear-ending the other woman's car three times and forcing her to stop. Peter Jamison,, "Ashli Babbitt’s journey from capital ‘guardian’ to invader," 9 Jan. 2021 Authorities say Hasan had rear-ended another vehicle on Alafaya Trail and fled prior to jumping a curb and hitting Harrell. Monivette Cordeiro,, "Driver gets 12 years in prison for UCF student’s hit-and-run death," 16 Dec. 2020 One of the semis appeared to have rear-ended the other. Emily Wilder, The Arizona Republic, "2 injured in semi-truck collision on I-10 in Eloy," 13 Aug. 2020 No injury report was available on the Bratenahl man, 63, whose car was rear-ended in Orange. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Driving under the influence of Xanax and hitting things: Orange Police Blotter," 5 June 2020 An arriving officer located a Ford Escape, which had been rear-ended by a Nissan Murano. John Benson, cleveland, "Outgoing homeowners association treasurer won’t relinquish duties: Broadview Heights Police Blotter," 15 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for rear

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rear

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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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