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 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 The rearward portion of the bullet is solid copper and built to penetrate deeply through bone and tissue. Outdoor Life, "The Best New Rifle Ammunition from SHOT Show 2020," 31 Jan. 2020 The all-wheel-drive system sends the majority of the power rearward to an electronic limited-slip rear differential. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "2020 BMW X6 M: Check Your Six," 5 Mar. 2020 Passenger seating was 2 fouroccupant divans, one facing forward, the other rearward. New York Times, "Read the Preliminary N.T.S.B. Report About the Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash," 7 Feb. 2020 Slippery surfaces turn this rearward torque bias into an outright prejudice against straight lines. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Aston Martin DBX Is Better Late Than Never," 15 Jan. 2020 Move the armrest rearward, to offer a space big enough to hold four gallons of milk. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "She's the engineer behind eye-popping invention in GM's newest SUVs," 10 Feb. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 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 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

Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rearward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 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

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