Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Origin: Probably from rear- (in words such as rearguard)

rear

1 noun
     
rear1
1 formal

the rear

the back part of an object, vehicle, or building, or a position at the back of an object or area [≠ front]
at/to the rear (of something)
a garden at the rear of the house
The hotel overlooks the river to the rear.
in the rear (of something)
a passenger travelling in the rear of a car
2 [countable] also rear end informal the part of your body which you sit on [= bottom]
3

bring up the rear

to be at the back of a line of people or in a race:
Carole was left to bring up the rear.

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