\ 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

About $2,200 worth of tools were reported stolen between 9:30 p.m. Aug. 16 and 7 a.m. Aug. 17 from the rear of a truck parked in a driveway on the 300 block of 95th Place. Kimberly Fornek,, "Police blotter: Catalytic converter reported stolen from vehicle in Darien," 25 Aug. 2019 Theft: Beta Drive Two business had pallets stolen from the rear of their property July 29., "High school boys crash trainer’s golf cart into fence: Mayfield Village Police Blotter," 31 July 2019 Five drivers had to switch to backup cars after incidents during practice or qualifying and started from the rear: Bowman, Byron, Hamlin, Newman and Larson. Ellen J. Horrow, USA TODAY, "Kevin Harvick scores first NASCAR Cup win of 2019 after thrilling battle with Denny Hamlin at New Hampshire," 21 July 2019 Fire crews found a single story residence with fire visible from the rear of the home and smoke coming from the attic vents. Bay City News Service, The Mercury News, "Santa Rosa fire causes $400,000 damage to home," 6 July 2019 Other perks of the van include an internal gear garage that’s accessed from the rear. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Cool camper van is like a hip apartment on wheels," 18 June 2019 Gonçalves, wearing medical gloves, took a swab of saliva from the animal’s mouth and a rectal swab from the rear, sealing them both into vials. David Quammen, National Geographic, "How one of Africa’s great parks is rebounding from war," 12 June 2019 Haag determined the bullet traveled from the rear of Finicum's truck toward the front, from right side to left, at a horizontal angle of 122 degrees and a vertical angle of minus-9 degrees. Maxine Bernstein,, "Ruling expected in 2 weeks on forensic experts in case of indicted FBI agent," 25 May 2018 The officers then looked through a window at the rear of the home and saw the body of a person lying on a living room floor. Dana Littlefield, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Police investigating deaths of two people in Torrey Highlands neighborhood," 18 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

On Monday, a green car without a rear windshield was parked out front, the entire residence cordoned off by police tape. Jake Bleiberg,, "Texas gunman was fired from job, called FBI before shooting," 2 Sep. 2019 On Monday, a green car without a rear windshield was parked out front, the entire residence cordoned off by police tape. Jake Bleiberg, Twin Cities, "FBI: West Texas gunman ‘was on a long spiral of going down’," 2 Sep. 2019 The Highlander had a green light and was struck on the rear section of the passenger side, police said. Washington Post, "Two killed in motorcycle crash in Prince William County," 1 Sep. 2019 The man was a passenger in a car when three men in a white Chrysler pulled up nearby and a rear passenger began shooting, hitting the man, police said. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas,, "4 homicides tallied in Chicago just 6 hours into September as police release August crime statistics," 1 Sep. 2019 And the placement allows a 60/40 split folding rear seatback to expand cargo capacity. San Diego Union-Tribune, "2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE: A versatile 52 mpg," 30 Aug. 2019 Also included are some 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs with rear seats with manual seat-back mechanisms. NBC News, "Ford recalls 550K vehicles because seat back may fail," 30 Aug. 2019 According to a search warrant affidavit, surveillance video showed the SaniPac truck backing up in the parking lot around 5:20 a.m., and its rear lights shining on the woman., "Garbage truck driver ran over woman found dead in sleeping bag, Eugene police say," 28 Aug. 2019 Drunken driver, Sleepy Hollow Road A driver was pulled over at 10:57 p.m. Aug. 5 for not having a rear license plate light and was cited for operating a motor vehicle while impaired after failing field sobriety tests. Brian Lisik,, "Police respond to 30-person fight at campground: Brunswick Hills Township Police Blotter.," 26 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 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

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 make a temporary encampment

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