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From rear +‎ -ward.



rearward (plural rearwards)

  1. The part that comes last or is situated in the rear; conclusion, wind-up.
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, Much Adoe about Nothing. [], quarto edition, London: [] V[alentine] S[immes] for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley, published 1600, OCLC 932921146, [Act IV, scene i]:
      Do not liue Hero, do not ope thine eies: / For did I thinke thou vvouldſt not quickly die / Thought I thy ſpirites vvere ſtronger than thy ſhames / My ſelfe would on the rerevvard of reproches / Strike at thy life.
    • 1611, Thomas Iames [i.e., Thomas James], “The 32. Place Corrupted, in the 17. Homily of Chrys[ostom] vpon Gen[esis] To[me] 1. Pg. 97.”, in A Treatise of the Corrvption of Scripture, Councels, and Fathers, by the Prelats, Pastors, and Pillars of the Church of Rome, for Maintenance of Popery and Irreligion. [], London: [] H. L. for Mathew Lownes, OCLC 22142325; republished London: [] H. L. for Mathew Lownes; [], 1612, OCLC 38676399, part II (Corruption of the True Fathers), page 85:
      For, though it were a knowen corruption, and therefore ſhould haue beene auoyded; yet [Robert] Bellarmine in muſtering vp the Fathers authorities, for proofe of the reading, ipſa (the beſt ground of their Mariolatrie) brings in [John] Chryſoſtom in the rereward.
    • 1889, William Morris, “Otter and His Folk Come into Mid-mark”, in A Tale of the House of the Wolfings and All the Kindreds of the Mark [], London: Reeves and Turner [], OCLC 1106148414, page 126:
      Ever he gazed earnestly on the main battle of the Romans, and what they were doing, and presently it became clear to him that they would outgo him and come to the ford, and then he wotted well that they would set on him just when their light-armed were on his flank and his rearward, and then it would go hard but they would break their array and all would be lost: []
  2. The last troop; the rear of an army; a rear guard.

Alternative forms[edit]


rearward (comparative more rearward, superlative most rearward)

  1. Toward the back or rear of something.
    The rearward seats of the bus were unpleasantly close to the toilet facilities.



  1. Toward the back or rear of something.
    • 1991, Peter Cozzens, Better Place to Die: The Battle of Stones River, page 124:
      The ensuing struggle was bitter but brief, as for a third time the Alabamians stumbled rearward through the cedars. If Manigault were to take the guns, he would need help.