\ 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

An executive package includes more power back seat adjustments, foot rests, power butterfly head rears and more. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Review: 2018 LS 500 is a beauty -- with beastly infotainment controls," 11 Apr. 2018 Weight distribution is a perfect 50:50 split, front to rear. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti: A sports sedan for people who want to drive," 6 Apr. 2018 As soon as a potential solution emerges another problem rears its head. Richard Morin, azcentral, "After failed Archie Bradley experiment, where can Diamondbacks turn for rotation help?," 16 June 2019 But the righthander reared back and struck out three straight batters, using some nice velocity on his fastball to end the threat quickly. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena Bronco All-Stars open Directors Tournament with 16-4 win over Crosby," 15 June 2019 For MIB, Thompson describes a similar series of events, because, once again, the question of romance reared its head during production. Kelsea Stahler,, "Name A More Iconic Duo Than Tessa Thompson & Chris Hemsworth," 15 June 2019 Sometime between 1 and 4 p.m. someone made a heavy scratch along the driver’s side, from front to rear, of a 2014 Toyota Sienna that had been left parked at the curb., "Crime Report: Robbery, burglaries and ‘found money’ scam top this week’s blotter," 12 June 2019 Football managers reared their boogie heads once again this term when a video surfaced of Pep Guardiola doing his best at courting the attentions of a Spanish senorita., "The Definitive 2018/19 Alternative European End of Season Awards," 6 June 2019 Every May, racing fans from around the world flock to Churchill Downs in Louisville, eager to watch thoroughbreds — many of them reared in the rolling hills nearby — tear around the track. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column One: In a neglected cemetery lie black jockeys who helped create the Kentucky Derby," 2 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City and Miami are bringing up the rear at 400/1. Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "Rockies’ odds to win World Series sink at MLB all-star break," 8 July 2019 The 20-inch Urano aluminum wheels were upgraded on the tester to black 21-inchers with black calipers, with Pirelli P Zero tires — 245/35 front, 285/30 rear. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Maserati Ghibli S Q4: from savior to the sidelines," 7 July 2019 Fire and smoke were showing from the rear of the second floor, and the blaze was put out at 11:23 p.m. The blaze left 23 residents displaced, one person slightly injured, and caused an estimated $125,000 in damage, IFD said. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Juvenile arrested in connection to intentionally set apartment fire, IFD says," 6 July 2019 For the day, DeChambeau shot 62 to take the second-round lead at 14-under 128, Howell shot 66 to get to 134, and Bradley brought up the rear with a 68 and 138 total. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "3M Open: Why does Brooks Koepka always seem to struggle at non-majors?," 5 July 2019 The fender and rear bumper were damaged on the parked car. Kimberly Fornek,, "Burr Ridge police blotter: Wallets, keys, credit cards and an EpiPen stolen in car burglaries," 5 July 2019 With a 26-inch front wheel and a 20-inch rear, the Spicy Curry looks a little odd, but that squat back end keeps the center of gravity low for easy handling. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "Excellent E-Bikes for Racing, Commuting, and Hauling," 4 July 2019 Theft from auto, SOM Center Road: An unknown person attempted to remove a rear passenger tire from a vehicle in the rear lot of Deacon’s auto dealership during the overnight hours of June 28., "Tanning spa employee fields question about her panties: Mayfield Village Police Blotter," 3 July 2019 The man, who had entered the residence by force through a rear sliding-glass door fled empty-handed. Lisa M. Bolton, Washington Post, "Prince William crime report," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Witnesses broke out the rear passenger window to get the woman out of the vehicle. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A woman who injected heroin while driving in Glendale caused a crash, injuring another driver, police say," 5 July 2019 In that incident, according to the incident summary, three male suspects cut the screen out of a rear basement window and at least one entered the home when the family dogs alerted the homeowners to their presence and the suspects fled. Libby Solomon,, "Towson-area crime: Homeowner punches man trying to climb through his bedroom window," 3 July 2019 Criminal damaging, Madison Avenue: Police received a call about 2:30 a.m. June 13 regarding a criminal damaging incident in which a male through a beer bottle through the rear window on the caller’s car. Bruce Geiselman,, "OVI suspect passed out in vehicle: Lakewood Police Blotter," 23 June 2019 Laptop computer stolen through a rear apartment window. Libby Solomon,, "Towson-area crime: Armed robber threatened to shoot, rape woman if she didn't give up purse, police said," 18 June 2019 On arriving at the Rock Creek area location, deputies found a 2007 BMW 3 Series sedan that had been hit by at least two gunshots in the vehicle’s rear window and the trunk., "Gunman shoots a BMW in Rock Creek over apparent parking dispute," 16 June 2019 The rear window was halfway down, a placid German Shepherd peeking over the glass. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Why the 2019 Toyota 4Runner Defies Rationality," 29 May 2019 For those other vehicles not connected to the grid, so to speak, the ESF boasts a larger triangle that rises up from the car's roof, as well as by a rear window capable of displaying messages. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "If You Crash a Mercedes-Benz in the Future, It Could Deploy a Robot to Warn Other Drivers," 21 May 2019 The other bullet penetrated the rightmost window of a car shop — and also struck the rear driver’s side door of a silver BMW sedan on display indoors. Alice Yin,, "Shooter opens fire with semi-automatic weapon, wounding 2 men outside Marquette Park barbershop," 9 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

An officer was hospitalized for several weeks last month after his cruiser was rear-ended while stopped to block traffic for a motorists' accident, said Lt. Chris Mayhew,, "Police crack down on NKY speeders on I-75 with the goal of saving lives," 2 July 2019 Blevins was driving under the influence of drugs when his car rear-ended a truck that was stopped at the red light on Sparkman Drive at Knowledge Drive, according to prosecutors. Ashley Remkus |,, "Man sentenced to prison in deadly DUI crash in Huntsville," 18 June 2019 Two young children were killed when a pickup truck rear-ended an Amish buggy in Michigan on Friday, according to local news. Tara Law, Time, "Reports: Two Young Amish Children Riding in a Buggy Killed by a Drunk Driver," 8 June 2019 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

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

10 Jul 2019

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
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

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