Definition of rear in English:


Line breaks: rear
Pronunciation: /rɪə


1 [with object] Bring up and care for (a child) until they are fully grown: Nigel was born and reared in Bath I was reared on stories of collieries
More example sentences
  • She felt her baby had a better chance with new parents better equipped to rear her child.
  • This means that the original enslaver was not concerned with the ‘cost of production’ - the cost of rearing a child until it was old enough to be sold into the trade.
  • Jackson used the exercise to demonstrate the challenges parents face in rearing children.
bring up, care for, look after, nurture, parent; educate, train, instruct; North Americanraise
1.1(Of an animal) care for (its young) until they are fully grown.
More example sentences
  • Animals that rear their young might educate their young in survival abilities.
  • Some tropical bird species rear their young near wasp nests and depend on the insects to repel predators.
  • Calendar buyers will learn that it is the third time in 150 years that wild osprey have nested and reared young at Bassenthwaite Lake.
1.2Breed and raise (animals): the calves are reared for beef
More example sentences
  • The firm rears chickens from just days old and processes them through to cooked finished products.
  • These larvae were reared separately until eclosion and both classes were viable.
  • The scientists from the University of California at San Francisco reared young rats in an environment of moderate continuous noise.
1.3Grow or cultivate (plants): (as adjective, in combination -reared) laboratory-reared plantlets
More example sentences
  • My freedom to roam at will conflicts with the farmer's need to make a living and to rear the crops and livestock we all need to exist.
  • Stocks of all three species were reared on banana medium at 18°.
  • Customers are given necessary advice on how to rear the plant, Mr Joseph says.
2 [no object] (Of a horse or other animal) raise itself upright on its hind legs: the horse reared in terror a rattlesnake reared up at his elbow
More example sentences
  • The colt reared and began galloping when other horses breezed past him.
  • Some horses that rear will only lift their front feet off the ground a short distance and only do it at certain times when they are overexcited or keen to move forward.
  • Unused to such harsh treatment, the horse reared back on its hind legs, unseating Jack Foster who landed with a thud on his backside.
2.1 [with adverbial of place] (Of a building, mountain, etc.) extend or appear to extend to a great height: houses reared up on either side
More example sentences
  • Beyond it, the Cumbrian mountains rear, an impenetrable barrier.
  • The mountains now rear before us like terrestrial tsunamis - snow-peaked surf in five-thousand metre sets.
  • Lahore station rears out of the surrounding anarchy like a liner out of the ocean.
2.2 (rear up) (Of a person) show anger or irritation: if anyone said the wrong thing, I used to rear up
More example sentences
  • Already last night difficulties were rearing up.
  • Glennon and Holmes reared up on the referee: ‘We're not going to be dictated to by television,’ Glennon told him.
  • She held him upright and kind of buried his face in her shoulder, which didn't seem right, but neither of the Grans reared up on her, so it must have been okay.
2.3 [with object] archaic Set upright: at once the mast we rear, at once unbind the spacious sheet


Old English rǣran 'set upright, construct, elevate', of Germanic origin; related to raise (which has supplanted rear in many applications), also to rise.


rear one's head

Raise one’s head.
More example sentences
  • But just when I think so, yet another Craig Wilson rears his head.
  • Just when I'm least expecting it, she rears her head.
  • Smiling a toothy grin, he put his hands to his temples, his index fingers extended, and reared his head.
(rear its head) (Of an unpleasant matter) present itself: elitism is rearing its ugly head again
More example sentences
  • It certainly reared its head in the past and it rears its head in the present time as well.
  • This matter has just reared its head in the election campaign.
  • And now, another base-line issue rears its head.



More example sentences
  • All over the country today there is growing resistance by poor livestock rearers to ‘regeneration programmes ‘that are forcing them off the land and forcing them out of their livelihood.’
  • As all mums will vouch, having children fills you with paranoia - in my experience men are more laid-back child rearers.
  • And the men who complain about women having ‘choices’ always forget that we are also the childbearers and rearers.

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Word of the day anomalous
Pronunciation: əˈnɒm(ə)ləs
deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected