from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Work to be done, obligation.
- n. Unpaid debt.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adv. To or in the rear; behind; backwards.
- n. That which is behind in payment, or which remains unpaid, though due; esp. a remainder, or balance which remains due when some part has been paid; arrearage; -- commonly used in the plural, .
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- See arear.
- Backward; into or toward the rear; back; behind.
- n. The state of being behind or behindhand: as, his work is in arrear.
- n. The rear.
- n. That which is behind in payment; a debt which remains unpaid, though due: generally used in the plural and implying that a part of the money is already paid: as, arrears of rent, wages, or taxes.
From Old French arere, ariere, from Vulgar Latin ad retro ("to the rear"). (Wiktionary)