Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Backward; into or toward the rear; back; behind.
  • noun The state of being behind or behindhand: as, his work is in arrear.
  • noun The rear.
  • noun 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.
  • See arear.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb obsolete To or in the rear; behind; backwards.
  • noun 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, .
  • noun behind; backward; behindhand; in debt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Work to be done, obligation.
  • noun Unpaid debt.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French arere, ariere, from Vulgar Latin ad retro ("to the rear").

Examples

  • Fiction is always far in arrear of popular opinion, but there are a few romancers who are coming abreast of the times in portraiture.

    Stylish Stouts

  • Fiction is always far in arrear of popular opinion, but there are a few romancers who are coming abreast of the times in portraiture.

    Stylish Stouts

  • I transfer the civil government without a single particle of business in arrear, and with a treasury without a debt, while all the civil officers have worked under me with energy and zeal.

    The Autobiography of Liuetenant-General Sir Harry Smith, Baronet of Aliwal on the Sutlej, G. C. B.

  • Fortunately – for we were nine months in arrear of pay – money was so scarce that a trifle of ready money produced a great deal.

    The Autobiography of Liuetenant-General Sir Harry Smith, Baronet of Aliwal on the Sutlej, G. C. B.

  • Those workmen of mine, who are your tenants – I am aware what usually results when tenants in arrear vote against their landlords – if, without taking any harsher measures, your agent will be so kind as to apply to me for the rent –

    John Halifax, Gentleman

  • The state of the poll still worse; Lord Beaufort twelve in arrear, and Colonel Beaufort twenty-one.

    The Semi-Attached Couple

  • Very true; a half-daily paper leaves one several hours in arrear.

    A Dialogue for the Year 2130

  • Moctador* was Caliph, he sent to the same Prince David, to know why the dirhems were not brought up, and David immediately called to horse, and, attended by all the chief people, rode to the palace, and told the Caliph that tribute was an acknowledgment made from the weak to the strong to insure protection and support; and, inasmuch as he and his people had garrisoned the city for ten years against the Seljuks, he held the Caliph in arrear.

    Chapter 1 - Part I

  • The first informs us, that there has been a recovery of what is called arrear, as well as of an improvement of the revenue of one of the six provinces which were let in 1782. [

    The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 03 (of 12)

  • Grafton's compliments to Mr. Bloomfield, & is glad to have been reminded by him of the arrear of the annual allowance, which he has by this post, directed Messrs. Drummonds, in Charing Cross, to pay, in full, to Mr

    Letter 308

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.