\ 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

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

In economic terms, rearing children is partly a form of human-capital investment that increases taxable income for the family as a whole in the long run. John Hood, National Review, "New Nationalists Make Three Big Bets," 28 Aug. 2019 Those studies led to a doctorate, and a dissertation on rearing crabs—a practice still in its nascent stages at the time. Tik Root, Time, "Inside the Race to Build the World's First Commercial Octopus Farm," 21 Aug. 2019 And more than 30% of female albatross in a Hawaiian colony bonded for life, sharing chick-rearing duties, researchers wrote. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "A gay penguin couple adopted an egg in a Berlin zoo," 13 Aug. 2019 Lucia rear-ended the victim’s car twice more on Hillstown Road, the report says. Jesse Leavenworth,, "East Hartford and Manchester police say man rammed girlfriend’s car," 12 Aug. 2019 In the second hour the staff helps a Galápagos tortoise and introduces viewers to two giraffe calves who need to be hand-reared simultaneously. 8 and 9 p.m. San Diego Union-Tribune, "What’s on TV Saturday: ‘The Zoo: San Diego’ on Animal Planet," 9 Aug. 2019 Caution signs around the park signs depict an adult elk rearing up to protect its fawn, while a person cowers. Vanessa Hua,, "In praise of road trips for family vacations," 25 July 2019 Louisville Zoo's Bird Department has been hand-rearing two little penguins that were abandoned by their parents. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "'I am ... Groot?': You can choose zoo's bongo calf's 'Guardians of the Galaxy'-themed name," 14 June 2019 But in the corners of the economy where trouble often rears its head earliest, there are disconcerting portents. The Economist, "Parts of America may already be facing recession," 31 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The passengers in the rear of the aircraft couldn’t escape the fire, and 41 people died. Washington Post, "How to evacuate a plane," 13 Sep. 2019 Strickland told police that Paul gave him eight Royal Farms gas station gift cards to purchase diesel fuel for two large containers in the rear of the van. Jessica Anderson,, "Baltimore County police charge man caught buying large amount of diesel fuel with felony credit card misuse," 11 Sep. 2019 Let’s be honest, the team needs a kick in the rear. Mark Gonzales,, "Cubs Q&A: What’s wrong with this team? Which players will be traded? Will they try to sign Nicholas Castellanos?," 27 Aug. 2019 In older tankers, the boom operator looks through a window in the rear of the plane, giving a bird’s-eye view of the refueling process. Sig Christenson,, "KC-46 tanker has been ‘frustrating,’ acting Air Force secretary says," 3 Aug. 2019 Mill Brook Place is located in the rear of the parking lot at 1267 Main St. The gallery will also be open to the public the weekend of the 24th along with the following weekend, ending Sept. 1., "Community News For The Windham Edition," 2 Aug. 2019 Companies such as Shell, BP, and ExxonMobil, who invest gargantuan sums based on such trends, would rather be out in front than lagging in the rear. Kayla Bartsch, National Review, "Are Conservatives Embracing a Carbon Tax?," 1 Aug. 2019 Fortunately for Hinchcliffe, even when he's started in the rear of the field (14th in 2014 and 22nd in 2016), he's managed to make his way to the front, delivering top-10 results at both races. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Simon Pagenaud seizes pole, putting together May-like weekend in Toronto," 13 July 2019 The trooper stopped behind the Honda and turned on its emergency lights to prevent the vehicle from being struck in the rear, the statement reads. Mary Grace Keller,, "Westminster woman, Mount Airy man charged with intent to distribute drugs," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There is a seemingly working bathroom, front and rear exterior doors and even a patio with a hedge and grill out back., "The 6 hottest Chicago shows to see right now," 13 Sep. 2019 The front-facing license plate belonged on a truck, and the rear license plate was registered to a silver 1999 Honda, police said. Jennifer James Correspondent, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood man accused of stealing school bus," 6 Sep. 2019 The children were struck when a vehicle stopped at a traffic signal was rear-ended by another vehicle near 48th Street and Southern Avenue, Tempe police said. Chris Coppola, azcentral, "2 children seriously hurt when struck by vehicle in Tempe," 5 Sep. 2019 License Plate Theft: On Aug. 12, The rear license plate was stolen from a black 2000 Toyota Corolla in the 600 block of Nido Drive. Jake Richardson, The Mercury News, "Campbell crime report for the week of Aug. 30," 22 Aug. 2019 Binel Gasery, 33, and Bradley Barker, 25, were driving eastbound on Interstate 10 during the evening rush hour Aug. 8 when their silver sedan was rear-ended by another vehicle, causing them to spin out and roll downhill near the highway. Fox News, "Victims of deadly Texas highway shooting are identified, shooter still at large," 14 Aug. 2019 Two fire trucks were blocking the slow lane when one of the trucks was rear-ended by a box truck at about 4:30 a.m., Morey said. Tatiana Sanchez,, "Fatal crash in Palo Alto snarls traffic on Highway 101," 4 Aug. 2019 The optional surround-view camera system has front and rear views including wide-angle modes. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Maserati Ghibli S Q4: from savior to the sidelines," 7 July 2019 Police said the driver of the Explorer was momentarily distracted, drifted left and rear-ended a Chrysler 200 driven by a 66-year-old Independence Township woman. Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "Car smashes through front of electric shop in Oakland County," 30 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

What if getting rear-ended by another car made for a splash, not a crash? Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: A victory for Trump’s asylum ban," 12 Sep. 2019 For more from former Bachelor Chris Soules, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday In April 2017, Soules, driving a truck, rear-ended Mosher’s tractor. Aili Nahas,, "Chris Soules Says His Relationship with Bachelor Was 'Complicated' by Involvement in Fatal Accident," 6 Sep. 2019 Soules, 37, tells PEOPLE exclusively of mourning the death of 66-year-old Kenny Mosher, who was killed after his tractor was rear-ended by a truck driven by Soules. Aili Nahas,, "The Bachelor’s Chris Soules Opens Up About His Involvement in 2017 Fatal Accident," 4 Sep. 2019 California Highway Patrol Officer Travis Garrow said the car, a Nissan Versa, had been rear-ended by another vehicle before colliding with the semi, flipping over and landing upside down below the trailer. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Woman’s car ends up under semi in I-8 crash in El Cajon; driver suspected of DUI," 26 Aug. 2019 The victim, 34-year-old Robert Johnston, was killed in the October crash after Boccio’s cruiser rear-ended his pickup truck. Cristóbal Reyes,, "Osceola deputy fined, has license suspended for careless driving in fatal rear-end crash," 21 Aug. 2019 Reid, who's entering his second season, was placed on NFI after his car was rear-ended in an accident before camp, causing him to miss the first four practices. John Mcclain, Houston Chronicle, "Texans safety Justin Reid returns to practice after car accident," 29 July 2019 Although the circumstances surrounding the crash are unclear, New York Times reporter Nancy Coleman tweeted that the taxi had been rear-ended, potentially forcing it into the restaurant. Char Adams,, "8 Injured as 'Out-of-Control' Taxi Crashes Into NYC Restaurant: 'Patrons Started Running'," 11 July 2019 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

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

18 Sep 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

Comments on rear

What made you want to look up rear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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