from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. behind; backward; behindhand; in debt.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
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 –
As Dr. Thacher put it at the time, Their complaints are that . . . their sufferings are insupportable, that their pay is five months in arrear and that it is of no value when received.