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 rearwards (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 The upper greenhouse of the car also echoes the current LS sedan, with multiple quarter windows at the rear sides, and is decidedly cab-rearward in proportion. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "The 2021 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car has more luxury, less ugly," 10 Oct. 2019 Though the little arthropods were blind, the trilobites were likely able to stay in line by sensing each other’s rearward facing spines or by using chemical cues, according to a press release. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Trilobite Fossil Shows Animals Have Stood in Line for Hundreds of Millions of Years," 22 Oct. 2019 Their study, published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, describes groups of blind trilobites — known as Ampyx — all facing in the same direction, apparently maintaining contact via their long rearward spines. Washington Post, "Queuing for eternity: Fossils show lining up is primal urge," 17 Oct. 2019 Using the turn signal activates a rearward side video feed of adjacent lanes, left or right, in the instrument cluster. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Kia K900: A crazy-rich VIP for the middle class," 6 Oct. 2019 With all three rows deployed, the Traverse could swallow all five of our small suitcases without obstructing our rearward vision. Ben Stewart, Popular Mechanics, "Cargo Showdown: Which Crossover SUV Is Best for Hauling Your Stuff?," 4 Aug. 2018 The Model 3 also sports a minimal front overhang, low hood, cab-rearward proportions and a luxurious axle-to-dash ratio. Dan Neil, WSJ, "First Test Drive of the Tesla Model 3 Performance: A Thrilling, Modern Marvel," 19 July 2018 All-wheel drive is optional on the C300 and standard on the C43; the C43’s system has a more pronounced rearward torque bias of 69 percent versus 55 percent in the C300 4Matic. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "2019 Mercedes-Benz C-class Coupe and Cabriolet: More Power Leads the Updates," 20 Mar. 2018 Negatives: Back seat tight for three adults; limited rearward visibility for driver. G. Chambers Williams Iii, star-telegram, "C-HR brings small crossover entry to Toyota lineup, starting at $22,500 | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 28 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 Rather than harnessing recoil, the device rapidly resets the trigger and pushes the trigger finger forward, spitting out bullets as the shooter applies rearward pressure with the trigger finger. Joe Palazzolo, WSJ, "Clash in Indiana Asks, ‘What Is a Machine Gun?’," 7 Oct. 2017 The extra-fast roofline constricts rearward visibility, so a backup camera with LCD display in the rearview mirror is standard equipment. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Why Toyota’s CH-R Might Win the Small-Car Showdown," 28 Sep. 2017 A rocker switch directs the battery current to produce forward or rearward thrust. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "Mobility Scooter Showdown: Whill Model A vs. Golden Tech Buzzaround EX vs. Pride Mobility Victory 10 LX," 21 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb 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

Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Rearward.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for rearward


How to pronounce rearward (audio)

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


How to pronounce rearward (audio)

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

somewhat formal : at, near, or toward the rear

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More from Merriam-Webster on rearward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rearward

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rearward

Nglish: Translation of rearward for Spanish Speakers

Comments on rearward

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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