rearguard

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

rear +‎ guard. Attested in The Song of Roland circa 1150 (rereguarde)

Noun[edit]

rearguard ‎(plural rearguards)

  1. (military) The rearmost part of a force, especially a detachment of troops that protect the rear of a retreating force.
  2. (soccer) The defence, collectively the defenders.
    • 2011 January 22, Phil McNulty, “Aston Villa 1 - 0 Man City”[1], BBC:
      Mancini's side only showed enough ambition when it was too late and by then battle lines were drawn as James Collins and former City captain Richard Dunne fought a magnificent rearguard action at the heart of Villa's defence.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Usually used attributively.

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