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[reer] /rɪər/

verb (used with object)
to take care of and support up to maturity:
to rear a child.
to breed and raise (livestock).
to raise by building; erect.
to raise to an upright position:
to rear a ladder.
to lift or hold up; elevate; raise.
verb (used without object)
to rise on the hind legs, as a horse or other animal.
(of a person) to start up in angry excitement, hot resentment, or the like (usually followed by up).
to rise high or tower aloft:
The skyscraper rears high over the neighboring buildings.
rear its (ugly) head. (def 85).
the back or hind part
the area or position that lies at the back: a garden at the rear of the house
the section of a military force or procession farthest from the front
the buttocks See buttock
bring up the rear, to be at the back in a procession, race, etc
in the rear, at the back
(modifier) of or in the rear: the rear legs, the rear side
(transitive) to care for and educate (children) until maturity; bring up; raise
(transitive) to breed (animals) or grow (plants)
(transitive) to place or lift (a ladder, etc) upright
(transitive) to erect (a monument, building, etc); put up
(intransitive) often foll by up. (esp of horses) to lift the front legs in the air and stand nearly upright
(intransitive; often foll by up or over) (esp of tall buildings) to rise high; tower
(intransitive) to start with anger, resentment, etc

“hindmost part,” c.1600, abstracted from rerewarde “rear guard, hindmost part of an army or fleet” (mid-14c.), from Anglo-French rerewarde, Old French rieregarde, from Old French adverb riere “behind” (from Latin retro “back, behind;” see retro-) + Old French garde (see guard (n.)). Or the word may be a shortened form of arrear (see arrears).

As a euphemism for “buttocks” it is attested from 1796. Rear admiral is first attested 1580s, apparently so called from ranking “behind” an admiral proper. Rear-view (mirror) is recorded from 1926.

Old English ræran “to raise, build up, create, set on end; arouse, excite, stir up,” from Proto-Germanic *raizijanau “to raise,” causative of *risanan “to rise” (see raise (v.)). Meaning “bring into being, bring up” (as a child) is recorded from early 15c.; that of “raise up on the hind legs” is first recorded late 14c. Related: Reared; rearing.

“attack in the rear,” 17c., from rear (n.).

c.1300, from Old French rere (see rear (n.)).


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  • Rearer

    [reer] /rɪər/ noun 1. the back of something, as distinguished from the front: The porch is at the rear of the house. 2. the space or position behind something: The bus driver asked the passengers to move to the rear. 3. the buttocks; rump. 4. the hindmost portion of an army, fleet, etc. adjective 5. […]

  • Rearguard

    [reer-gahrd] /ˈrɪərˌgɑrd/ adjective 1. of or relating to a rear guard. 2. designed to oppose or prevent in a defensive way: a rearguard strategy. /ˈrɪəˌɡɑːd/ noun 1. a detachment detailed to protect the rear of a military formation, esp in retreat 2. an entrenched or conservative element, as in a political party 3. rearguard action

  • Rear-guard

    noun 1. a part of an army or military force detached from the main body to bring up and guard the rear from surprise attack, especially in a retreat. [reer-gahrd] /ˈrɪərˌgɑrd/ adjective 1. of or relating to a rear guard. 2. designed to oppose or prevent in a defensive way: a rearguard strategy. /ˈrɪəˌɡɑːd/ noun […]

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