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(used before a noun) Very irritating, aggravating, or obnoxious. I've still got a few pain-in-the-rear jobs to do around the ranch before I can call it quits for the day. We're having Mary over for dinner tomorrow night. I just hope her pain-in-the-rear husband doesn't come along as well.

pain in the rear

An especially irritating, aggravating, or obnoxious person, thing, or situation. You know, Jack, you may be my friend, but you can be a real pain in the rear sometimes! This calculus homework is a real pain in the rear. It's not that I don't understand it, it's just so tedious!
See also: pain, rear

at the rear of something

located at the back part of something. I keep my tools at the rear of my garage. There's a stream at the rear of my property.
See also: of, rear

bring up the rear

to move along behind everyone else; to be at the end of the line. (Originally referred to marching soldiers. Fixed order.) Here comes John, bringing up the rear. Hurry up, Tom! Why are you always bringing up the rear?
See also: bring, rear, up

get off one's ass

 and get off one's rear; get off one's butt
Sl. to get up and get busy; to stop loafing and get to work. (Caution with ass. Butt is also offensive to some people.) Get off your ass and get busy! It's time you got off your butt and started to work.
See also: ass, get, off

in the rear

located in the space or area behind someone or something. The waiter told me that the bathrooms were in the rear. All deliveries must be made in the rear.
See also: rear

pain in the ass

 and a pain in the butt; a pain in the rear
Fig. a very annoying thing or person. (Crude. Potentially offensive. Use only with discretion. An elaboration of pain. Use caution with ass. Butt is less offensive. Rear is euphemistic.) That guy is a real pain in the ass. Things like that give me a pain in the butt.
See also: ass, pain

rear back

1. Lit. [for a horse] to pull back and up onto its hind legs in an effort to move backwards rapidly or throw a rider. (See also rear up.) The animal reared back in terror. The horse reared back and almost threw its rider.
2. Fig. [for a person] to pull back and stand up or sit up straighter. He reared back in his chair and looked perturbed. Tom reared back in his chair, waiting for something else to happen.
See also: back, rear

rear its ugly head

Fig. [for something unpleasant] to appear or become obvious after lying hidden. Jealousy reared its ugly head and destroyed their marriage. The question of money always rears its ugly head in matters of business.
See also: head, rear, ugly

rear up

1. Lit. [for a horse] to lean back on its hind legs and raise its front legs, assuming a threatening posture or avoiding something on the ground such as a snake. (See also rear back.) The horse reared up suddenly, throwing the rider onto the ground. When the horse reared up, I almost fell off.
2. Fig. [for something, especially a problem] to raise up suddenly. A new problem reared up and cost us a lot of time. A lot of new costs reared up toward the end of the month.
See also: rear, up

rear its (ugly) head

to become a problem that has to be dealt with It was in the 1970s that the problem of violent soccer fans first reared its head in Britain.
See also: head, rear

bring up the rear

to be at the back of a group of people moving from one place to another They walked down the hall, with Ray bringing up the rear.
See also: bring, rear, up

bring up the rear

to be at the back of a group of people who are walking or running Ceri was in the lead. Bringing up the rear, a mile or so down the road, was Simon.
See bring to heel, bring up with a start
See also: bring, rear, up

raise/rear its (ugly) head

if something unpleasant raises its ugly head, it becomes a problem that people have to deal with All over Europe, racism is rearing its ugly head once more.
See also: head, raise

rear-end something

to cause an accident by hitting the back of the car in front of you His car was rear-ended while he was stopped at the light.

bring up the rear

Be last in a line or sequence, as in As a slow walker, I'm used to bringing up the rear, or In test results Tom always brought up the rear. This term almost certainly came from the military but the earliest citation given by the Oxford English Dictionary is from a 1643 religious treatise by Sir Thomas Browne: "My desires onely are . . . to be but the last man, and bring up the Rere in Heaven."
See also: bring, rear, up

rear end

1. The back part of anything, especially a vehicle, as in There's a large dent in the rear end of the car.
2. The buttocks, as in I'm afraid these pants don't fit my rear end. The noun rear alone has been used in both these senses, the first since the late 1700s and the second since the mid-1900s. The addition of end occurred in the first half of the 1900s.
See also: end, rear

rear its ugly head

Appear. This phrase is used only of something undesirable or unpleasant, as in The interview went very well until a question about his academic record reared its ugly head . This expression was first recorded in slightly different form in Anthony Trollope's Barchester Towers (1857): "Rebellion had already reared her hideous head."
See also: head, rear, ugly

rear up

1. To rise on the hind legs, as of a horse: A rattlesnake slithered out from behind the bush, and the horse reared up.
2. To arise or appear suddenly or unexpectedly: We can handle any problems that rear up.
See also: rear, up

get off one’s rear

in. to get up and get busy. (Euphemistic for Get off my ass!) It’s time to get off your rear and get to work.
See also: get, off, rear

kick in the (seat of the) pants

and kick in the ass and kick in the butt and kick in the teeth and kick in the rear
n. a strong message of encouragement or a demand. (Usually objectionable.) All he needs is a kick in the seat of the pants to get him going. A kick in the teeth ought to wake them up and get them moving.
See also: kick, of, pant, seat

kick in the rear

See also: kick, rear

pain in the ass

and pain in the butt and pain in the rear
n. a very annoying thing or person. (Usually objectionable. An elaboration of pain. Rear is euphemistic.) You are a pain in the ass! Things like that give me a pain in the butt.
See also: ass, pain

pain in the rear

See also: pain, rear

rear (end)

n. the tail end; the buttocks. (Euphemistic.) The dog bit her in the rear end.
See also: end, rear




and back-ender
n. an automobile wreck where one car runs into the back of another. (see also fender-bender.) It wasn’t a bad accident, just a rear-ender. The rain caused a couple of “back-enders,” but there were no serious accidents.

bring up the rear

To be the last in a line or sequence.
See also: bring, rear, up
References in classic literature ?
These were the questions of a home, a living, the rearing of children, education, citizenship, and the establishment and support of churches.
The thing was an enormous cave bear, rearing its colossal bulk fully eight feet at the shoulder, while from the tip of its nose to the end of its stubby tail it was fully twelve feet in length.
And just before he arrived back at the stable he capped the day with a combined whirling and rearing that
I am interested only in the relations of a people to the rearing of the individual man, and among the Greeks the conditions were unusually favourable for the development of the individual; not by any means owing to the goodness of the people, but because of the struggles of their evil instincts.
Here we may still be hopeful: in the rearing of exceptional men.
The notion of rearing the Superman is only a new form of an ideal Nietzsche already had in his youth, that "THE OBJECT OF MANKIND SHOULD LIE IN ITS HIGHEST INDIVIDUALS" (or, as he writes in "Schopenhauer as Educator": "Mankind ought constantly to be striving to produce great men--this and nothing else is its duty.
The phrase "the rearing of the Superman," has very often been misunderstood.
This study investigated whether rearing methods (parent-rearing, hand-rearing, or hand-rearing with exercise) of cranes, and behaviors observed in birds either before or shortly after release in the wild, are associated with survival after release.
When given a drug that blocks oxytocin receptors, new mothers licked and groomed their pups at consistently low rates, regardless of their own rearing histories, the scientists say.
and the Jewish Outreach Institute of New York, that 63 percent of those who had been married by rabbis were rearing their children as Jews.
Work recently completed at the Feather River Fish Hatchery has improved conditions for the rearing of fish and made it easier for visitors, including those with disabilities, to observe hatchery operations.
The recently completed expansion projects provide the Feather River Fish Hatchery with enough additional rearing space to raise several hundred thousand more chinook salmon for Lake Oroville, which also features excellent fishing for bass, trout, catfish and other fish.
Grant provides some nineteenth century background to the history of childreading advice literature, but she focuses primarily on the twentieth century and on the rearing of infants and preschoolers.
Without it, early rearing experiences dominate," asserts study coauthor Stephen J.