Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Toward, to, or at the rear.
  • adj. At or in the rear.
  • n. A rearward direction, point, or position.
  • n. The rear guard of an armed force.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The part that comes last or is situated in the rear; conclusion; wind-up.
  • adj. Toward the back or rear of something.
  • adv. Toward the back or rear of something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • At or toward the rear.
  • n. The last troop; the rear of an army; a rear guard. Also used figuratively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • At or to the rear; toward the hinder part; backward from anything.
  • Situated at or toward the rear; being or coming last.
  • n. Place or position at the rear: the part that comes last; rear; end; conclusion; wind-up.
  • n. A rear-guard; a body or force guarding the rear.
  • n. Hence Any company or body of persons bringing up the rear; the rear.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. direction toward the rear
  • adj. directed or moving toward the rear
  • adj. located in or toward the back or rear
  • adv. at or to or toward the back or rear

Etymologies

Middle English rerewarde, from Anglo-Norman : rere, behind (from Latin retrō; see re- in Indo-European roots) + warde, guard (of Germanic origin; see wer-3 in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
rear +‎ -ward (Wiktionary)

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