\ 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

The Zoo explained that caretakers have partially hand-reared flamingo hatchlings in the past, but are excited to implement a new technique that will enable the parents to do all the nurturing of the chicks on their own. Claudia Harmata,, "Three Adorable Flamingo Chicks Just Hatched at the Oklahoma City Zoo," 5 Sep. 2019 Many of the shortcomings of the previous autumn ― tackling, susceptibility to a sturdy run game and a discombobulated offense ― reared themselves against No. Joey Knight,, "Wisconsin clobbers USF, hands Bulls worst loss in school history," 31 Aug. 2019 An age-old question has reared its head again: Why can’t China create a globally competitive investment bank in the mold of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. or Morgan Stanley? Washington Post, "How China Can Create Its Own Goldman Sachs," 12 July 2019 For the new study, study leader Sarah Han, a Ph.D. student at University of Akron, Ohio, and colleagues captured wild Hyptiotes cavatus spiders and reared them indoors. Kenrick Vezina, National Geographic, "This spider accelerates faster than a rocket," 13 May 2019 But league front offices also have to adapt to the talent pool, and that pool is coming up in ever-increasing percentages having been reared in the culture of 7-on-7 passing camps. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Are John Elway’s Broncos behind the curve of today’s NFL, or lumbering ahead of it?," 7 Sep. 2019 The four-wheel-disc brakes should be up to the towing task with 12.6-inch vented rotors front and solid, 13-inch rotors rear. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Honda Passport: off-road ready, city-smart," 11 Aug. 2019 Since male snow leopards do not rear their young in the wild, Tai Lung will not have any contact with the cub and will be out in the snow leopard habitat each day. Robin Goist,, "Snow leopard cub born at Akron Zoo," 5 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The event will take place at the Congregational Church of Eastford, 8 Church Road, in the rear hall., "Community News For The Stafford Edition," 13 Sep. 2019 The authors of this account of FDA corruption and bribery were both PMA executives fighting a rear-guard action as physicians and patients became increasingly comfortable with generic substitution. Jeremy A. Greene, Washington Post, "After a scandal, a one-sided warning against generic drugs," 13 Sep. 2019 Alia led the way, with Lyra, then eleven, and Harper, then nine, in the middle, and me covering our rear. Dan Kois, The New Yorker, "How I Learned to Cycle Like a Dutchman," 13 Sep. 2019 From the main deck, the crew tried to access the salon and galley compartment through a forward window, but the compartment was engulfed by flames in the rear and thick smoke in the forward end. Matthias Gafni,, "Conception fire: All crew members asleep when deadly fire erupted, report says," 12 Sep. 2019 Investigators determined that burglars had forced their way into the house through a rear sliding glass door, police said. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "Man is charged in Newport Beach residential burglary that led to police chase," 9 Sep. 2019 For example, a hole at the top and rear of the skull anchored jaw muscles for chomping through the Mesozoic world—and a new study suggests there was more to this peculiar anatomical window than just biting. Riley Black, Smithsonian, "Special Skull Windows Helped Dinosaur Brains Keep Cool," 4 Sep. 2019 Otherwise, the two electric motors -- one driving the front wheels and one the rear -- can produce up to 617 horsepower on either model. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Porsche's first electric car can go from 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds," 4 Sep. 2019 The new control system distributes torque to the front and rear axles in such a way to make the rear-biased system easier to control with deft working of the throttle. Wired, "With the Taycan, Porsche Launches into the Electric Future," 4 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The restaurant's rear door showed signs of a break-in. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Ex-NFL player accused of trashing his 2 businesses to make it look like a hate crime," 15 Sep. 2019 The versatility of its additional passenger side rear door remains to offer easier rear-seat access. Sue Mead, Houston Chronicle, "Hyundai Veloster: Sporty compact curated with emotion, imagination," 13 Sep. 2019 Depending on the type of crash, the gas bags balloon out of the doors, footwells, seats, rear doors, seatbelts, and, for the benefit of pedestrians, even the exterior. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Honda's New Airbag Catches Your Head to Save Your Brain," 24 Aug. 2019 Bev, meanwhile, turned off the engine, jumped down to the pavement, and heaved up the truck’s rear door. J. Robert Lennon, The New Yorker, "The Loop," 19 Aug. 2019 He was last seen driving a 2018 Toyota Carolla that has damage to the passenger rear door near the tire. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Police seek public help in finding missing 19-year-old Klay Porter," 18 July 2019 The owner of a property in the 2300 block of 72nd Court in Elmwood Park reported that a tenant heard someone break the bottom window of the building’s rear door around 9:30 p.m. June 19, police said. Jennifer Fisher,, "Elmwood Park crime: man used device to program credit card reader," 16 July 2019 The woman told police a black SUV was parked next to her and had white paint matching her damaged rear door on its driver’s side door. Brian Lisik,, "Driver leads police on high-speed chase; warrant issued for his arrest: Independence Police Blotter," 22 June 2019 Gloss Black front and rear door handles were a departure from silver or chrome. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Hyundai’s 2018 Kona small crossover starts at $19,500, offers all-wheel drive | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 19 May 2018

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

16 Oct 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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