Definition of rear in English:


Line breaks: rear
Pronunciation: /rɪə


[in singular]
1The back part of something, especially a building or vehicle: the kitchen door at the rear of the house
More example sentences
  • Staff vehicles enter at the rear of the building by means of a ramp that leads down to a subterranean car park.
  • Stromness Fire Brigade were called out and extinguished the fire, which caused minor damage to the doors at the rear of the building.
  • One of the buildings at the rear of the main house dates from that time.
1.1The space or position at the back of something or someone: the field at the rear of the church
More example sentences
  • Land which was previously an area of open space at the rear of homes in Thresher Rise and Queenborough Lane in Great Notley, is set to be used to provide up to seven allotments.
  • Behind their bay windows are elegant drawing rooms and to the rear there is sufficient space to create generous kitchens and living areas.
  • A sculpture terrace in the rear completes the exhibition space.
1.2The hindmost part of an army, fleet, or line of people: two policemen at the rear fell out of the formation
More example sentences
  • German planners knew that Antwerp must be taken to safeguard the right rear of their armies swinging down into France, and initially allocated five reserve corps to the task.
  • The way to the rear of the Army of Northern Virginia was open.
  • A gap opened up between the Allied armies as Clark moved away from the decisive point - closing the rear of the German Army.
1.3 (also rear end) informal A person’s buttocks.
More example sentences
  • Now Macy's in New York is endorsing big bottoms by adding an extra 2.5in to their dummies' rears.
  • We're not getting off our rears and just walking places.
  • If our folks sit on their rears, the Republicans are better organized in Pennsylvania than they've ever been.
buttocks, backside, behind, rear end, rump, seat, haunches, hindquarters, cheeks; Britishbottom; Frenchderrière; GermanSitzfleisch
informal sit-upon, stern, BTM, tochus
British informal bum, botty, prat, jacksie
Scottish informal bahookie
North American informal butt, fanny, tush, tushie, tail, duff, buns, booty, caboose, heinie, patootie, keister, tuchis, bazoo, bippy
West Indian informal batty
humorous posterior, fundament
black English rass, rusty dusty
British vulgar slang arse, clunge
North American vulgar slang ass
technical nates


[attributive] Back to top  
At the back: the car’s rear window
More example sentences
  • The back end was completely crumpled and the rear window was shattered.
  • I live smack between two bridges, and I see them both from my rear windows - I can see them now.
  • One round went through my already shattered rear window; another whistled past my head.


Middle English (first used as a military term): from Old French rere, based on Latin retro 'back'.


bring up the rear

Be at the very end of a line of people: I made the men walk in front while I brought up the rear
More example sentences
  • The cops cleared the streets in front and brought up the rear, but along the whole enormous length of the demo there wasn't a cop in sight (other than the usual vanloads down side streets).
  • I brought up the rear as the cloaked man in front of me made his way towards them.
  • A lone, central defenseman protects the front of the net for his goalie and brings up the rear on the offensive attack.
Come last in a race or other contest: the investigation into business failures shows Scotland bringing up the rear
More example sentences
  • It's well-known that, in the status race, mothers bring up the rear, ranking equally with the disabled and the elderly.
  • Solis said he felt confident in his mount, in spite of bringing up the rear through much of the race.
  • The Defence Minister was gunning for third and the Sports Minister brought up the rear.

take someone in rear

Attack an army from behind: the object of taking in rear all Austrian forces
More example sentences
  • At the main breach the defence was obstinate, but the defenders were taken in rear by the men of the light division.
  • We stood to our weapons, and occupied the doorways of the huts so as not to be taken in rear.

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Pronunciation: əˈnɒm(ə)ləs
deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected