Word of the Day: rear

Word of the Day
May 10, 2016
rear (noun, adjective, verb)
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Horses sometimes rear if something scares them.
As a noun and especially in the UK, rear is the back of something or the space located at the back of something (for example, a car). In the US we often just say back instead. Informally, rear means 'butt' or 'buttocks.' As an adjective, rear refers to anything located at the back of something. As a verb, rear means 'to raise or take care of a child until he or she is mature' or 'to breed and raise animals.' It can also mean 'to rise high' or, for animals, especially horses, it means 'to rise onto the back legs.'


Example sentences
The garden is at the rear of the house.
Mom was driving, with Dad sitting in the front passenger seat and the kids in the rear.
Edward's rear felt a bit tender after a long day bicycle riding.
Passengers used both the front and rear exits to leave the plane.
It can be tough for single parents who have to rear their kids alone.
Wendy quit her job to go and rear sheep in New Zealand.
The mountain reared ahead of them and they knew it would be difficult to cross it.
Linda struggled not to fall when her horse suddenly reared.


Multi-word forms
bring up the rear: be at the back of a group or procession. Example: 'On the school trip, one teacher led the way, with another teacher bringing up the rear to make sure no one got lost.'
rear end: As a noun, this is a euphemism meaning 'butt' or 'buttocks' and can sometimes sound old-fashioned. Example: "My father is a pain in the rear end! He won't stop telling me what to do!" As a verb and with a hyphen, to rear-end means 'to drive into the back of another car.' Example: "Someone rear-ended me when I was waiting at a red light, and I had to take my car to the shop to be fixed."
Don't confuse it with
Be careful not to confuse rear with rare. The spelling is very similar, but "rare" means 'uncommon,' 'scarce,' or 'unusual.'
As a noun and adjective, rear dates back to the late 16th century and is an aphetic variant of arrear. The verb dates back to before 900 and comes from the Middle English word reren and the Old English word rǣran, meaning 'to raise.' It is a cognate with the Gothic word -raisjan and the Old Norse word reisa.
Rear in other languages
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