rear·​ward | \ ˈrir-ˌwȯrd How to pronounce rearward (audio) \

Definition of rearward

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: rear especially : the rear division (as of an army)


rear·​ward | \ ˈrir-wərd How to pronounce rearward (audio) \

Definition of rearward (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : located at, near, or toward the rear
2 : directed toward the rear a rearward glance


rear·​ward | \ ˈrir-wərd How to pronounce rearward (audio) \
variants: or less commonly rearwards \ ˈrir-​wərdz How to pronounce rearward (audio) \

Definition of rearward (Entry 3 of 3)

: at, near, or toward the rear : backward looking rearward

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Synonyms & Antonyms for rearward

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adverb

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Examples of rearward in a Sentence

Adjective the rearward section of the store got rearward quarters aboard the ship Adverb turned rearward for a moment, just for one final look at the haunting scene
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Normal sends 60 percent of torque forward, Sport changes the balance and dispatches 70 percent rearward, and Track splits the torque equally. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Toyota Yaris GR Puts the Hot Back in Hot Hatch," 3 Dec. 2020 The electric motor assisting the BRZ's rack is mounted high up on the firewall, contributing to a slightly higher center of gravity but simultaneously shifting the front/rear weight balance a touch rearward. Car and Driver, "2013 Subaru BRZ First Drive," 18 Nov. 2020 Here, as an aircraft approaches supersonic speed, the nose tends to dip down as shock waves, migrating rearward as speed increases, create pressure differentials that increase lift at the back of the wing, destabilizing it. Eric Adams, Wired, "How to Design a Supersonic Plane for the (Fairly Rich) Masses," 15 Oct. 2020 The Concept also summoned the spirit of Volvo’s most beautiful car, the P1800 (1961-1972): the dramatic cab-rearward balance and intimate canopy; the peaked rear fender lines and almost vestigial tail fins; the teeth-baring grille. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Polestar 1: The World’s Most Beautiful Hybrid Car Has Arrived," 15 Oct. 2020 Along with their smaller mouths, smallmouths have continuous or unbroken dorsal fins, whereas a largemouth’s rearward dorsal fin is almost completely separated from the forward dorsal fin. Popular Science, "A beginner’s guide to freshwater fishing," 1 June 2020 The roof drops rearward on the 911, which is called the fly line. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "Learn How to Draw a 911 From Porsche's Head of Design," 30 Apr. 2020 Both vehicles feature angular fenders jutting out from the body and a chunky C-pillar that slopes rearward. Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, "There's Also an Electric GMC Hummer SUV Coming," 4 Mar. 2020 The force created by the gas to propel the bullet forward creates an equal amount of rearward force, which sends the rifle into your quivering shoulder and your throbbing head. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "Do You Need a Muzzle Brake On Your Rifle?," 23 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The blind spot, ironically, is the fault of the side mirrors, which stand far off the fenders to provide a rearward look past the Aston's hips but block your view of cross traffic at intersections. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, "2020 Aston Martin Vantage Coupe Is More Than Just a Beauty, It's an All-Around Charmer," 23 June 2020 Mark spent a year fixing it up and amassing the parts required to convert the DMC-12 into a Back to the Future replica and another two years driving it around to get comfortable with the car's lack of rearward visibility. Talon Homer, Car and Driver, "The Cars Are the Stars: The Art of Replicating Hollywood's Famous Rides," 14 June 2020 And the gun-slit that passes for a backlight, neatly bisected by the rear wing, make rearward vision a four-to-one bet in favor of Seth's Volare. John Phillips, Car and Driver, "Tested: Lotus Esprit Jim Clark Edition Honors a Racing Hero," 18 June 2020 The system is smart enough to drop and raise the rearward quarter windows with the top. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet: Fast Headroom," 16 Apr. 2020 The rearward hand, and that half of his body, propelled the tool; the forward hand, on the wood, resisted. The Economist, "Obituary: David Esterly died on June 15th," 28 June 2019 The two engine nozzles are buried inside the tail of the aircraft, reducing its rearward radar aspect, and are shielded horizontally by the large horizontal stabilizers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Is This China’s Stealth Bomber?," 9 Apr. 2018 The wagon body style’s thick rearmost pillar creates some blockage and, thus, rearward visibility is average for the segment. Michael Simari, Car and Driver, "2017 Mercedes-Benz E-class Wagon," 14 Dec. 2017 The Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning detects when another vehicle may have entered the car's rearward path, such as backing out of a parking spot, and provides a driver alert. Terry Troy,, "Hyundai rolls out the its new subcompact crossover," 17 Dec. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Acura says the center of gravity shifts 3.4 inches rearward. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "2021 Acura TLX Shows Signs of Greatness," 24 Sep. 2020 All that power is sent rearward through a sequential six-speed gearbox. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "830+-HP Lamborghini SCV12 Will Be the Most Powerful V-12 Lambo," 23 June 2020 Another problem: When the top is raised, vision rearward through that gun-slit backlight is Thurber-esque. John Phillips, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1996 Aston Martin DB7 Volante Makes the English Sports-Car Brand Relevant Again," 20 May 2020 When the pistol is fired, the Y drops ever so slightly (about 0.1 inch), which unlocks the little wings that then ride in slots machined into the slide, allowing the slide to move rearward under recoil and cycle the action. John B. Snow, Outdoor Life, "The Archon Type B is Not Just Another Plastic 9mm," 6 Feb. 2020 When the breechblock was pulled rearward, all of the firing pins would be cocked against their own individual springs, and a plate would slide up between the firing pin and its port in the front of the breechblock. Ian Mccollum, Popular Mechanics, "Forgotten Weapons: The Mitrailleuse," 9 Dec. 2015 With Nissan’s innovative EZ Flex Seating System, every seat except the driver’s folds down – the front passenger seat folds rearward – to allow transportation of long items such as an eight-foot ladder. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Nissan Rogue proves to be a popular compact crossover for US consumers | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 5 May 2018 While the nose of the E-class slopes slightly rearward, the CLS reverses that cue with a mild forward cant. Davey G. Johnson, Car and Driver, "2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS-class," 10 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rearward.' 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 rearward


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1625, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rearward


Middle English rerewarde, from Anglo-French rereguard, rerewarde rear guard


rear entry 2 + -ward

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Time Traveler for rearward

Time Traveler

The first known use of rearward was in the 14th century

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Statistics for rearward

Cite this Entry

“Rearward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for rearward



English Language Learners Definition of rearward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

somewhat formal
: located at, near, or toward the back of something
: directed toward the rear of something



English Language Learners Definition of rearward (Entry 2 of 2)

somewhat formal : at, near, or toward the rear

More from Merriam-Webster on rearward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rearward

Nglish: Translation of rearward for Spanish Speakers

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