Meaning of arrears in English:


Pronunciation /əˈrɪəz/

See synonyms for arrears

Translate arrears into Spanish

plural noun

  • Money that is owed and should have been paid earlier.

    ‘he was suing the lessee for the arrears of rent’
    • ‘mortgage arrears’
    • ‘The accountants may not withdraw from the court until all debts and arrears are fully paid.’
    • ‘Reducing arrears means more money for services and housing improvements.’
    • ‘He's fallen into arrears, and the mortgage company is repossessing it on Monday.’
    • ‘The council is chasing a total of £4.7m in rent arrears throughout the borough.’
    • ‘Because of rent arrears, the district council repossessed the building in 2000.’
    • ‘Every two weeks, the council reassesses the balance-sheets on outstanding rent arrears.’
    • ‘They wait until the arrears accumulate before they can take any action at all.’
    • ‘She agreed that all the money was now gone but said most of it had gone towards repayment of debts and arrears.’
    • ‘York housing chiefs today unveiled plans to make savings by toughening up on the collection of rent arrears.’
    • ‘The level of rent arrears does not, and cannot, affect the level of residents' council tax.’
    • ‘She had been planning to sell the perfume and use the cash to pay off her rent arrears.’
    • ‘After all, the arrears of rent were quite small compared to the alleged value of the inventory.’
    • ‘Camden council, where I live, never tires of bragging of how it evicts people with rent arrears.’
    • ‘The report says a record number of people are getting into debt and that the most common debt in Scotland is council tax arrears.’
    • ‘However, the city of New York was about to foreclose on the building for arrears of property taxes.’
    • ‘The company owes six million leva in VAT and a further six million leva in other tax arrears.’
    • ‘One side of the Council is issuing housing benefit, while on the other it takes court action when arrears build up.’
    • ‘Two weeks ago the Keighley News revealed that she had stood for election even though she was in council tax arrears.’
    • ‘There is need to end the problem of housing allowance arrears once and for all.’
    • ‘Her arrears dated back several years and had built up because she had struggled financially as a single mother.’
    money owing, outstanding payment, outstanding payments, debt, debts, liabilities, indebtedness, dues
    View synonyms


    in arrears
    • 1Behind with paying money that is owed.

      ‘two out of three tenants are in arrears’
      • ‘After the U.S. government fell millions of dollars behind in arrears in the late 1990s, the United States almost lost its voting rights in the General Assembly.’
      • ‘OIC assistant director of housing Mr John Richards explained that 165 out of Orkney's 900 council house tenants were in arrears.’
      • ‘He said the report would lead to an improvement plan, which would bolster the mediation service offered in neighbour disputes, and get tougher on tenants in arrears.’
      • ‘He said in areas such as Kingsway West, a significant number of tenants were in arrears and over the next three years, the homes will receive new kitchens and bathrooms.’
      • ‘Although he should be earning extra money because he rents out both properties, one of his tenants is $3,700 in arrears.’
      • ‘This particular tenant was about three months in arrears for one of our apartments, which meant, in cash terms, about £2,500.’
      • ‘The length some accounts had been in arrears meant that the eventual recovery of money was doubtful and could have a very negative effect on the financial position of some TLCs.’
      • ‘In September 1998, whilst this company was still in occupation, it had been placed in receivership, and was in arrears of rent and service charge.’
      • ‘The wife has complained that at various times the husband's spousal support payments fell in arrears and this further contributed to her stress.’
      • ‘His landlord gives him a week's notice to quit the house, although he is not in arrears of rent or otherwise in breach of his tenancy.’
      • ‘The owner of the property Mr G Richardson has told me that you are more than 8 weeks in arrears with your rent payments.’
      • ‘On 15th February 2000 a standard automated letter was sent by the Claimant to all of its customers who were in arrears and making payments by cheque or cash, in order to offer an incentive to customers to pay by standing order.’
      • ‘The Husband shall therefore directly pay the educational institutions for these fees on the date the invoices are provided to him by the children or by the Wife, and he shall not be in arrears of such payments.’
      • ‘He was told prior to commencing his distribution arrangement with Joncor that Joncor was in arrears in payment to its previous distributor.’
      • ‘I say that because the husband has already secretly pocketed the proceeds of a life insurance policy that he cashed without proper disclosure to his wife and appears to be willfully in arrears of his monthly support obligations.’
      • ‘The position is similar for claims of set-off, under which a respondent may resist payment of a debt on the basis that the claimant is in arrears with respect to contractual payments owing to the respondent.’
      • ‘He resides with his mother and sister and is more than $4, 000.00 in arrears on the $500.00 monthly rent he had agreed to pay there.’
      • ‘As if for good measure, Saunders adds that the number of households at least three months in arrears in their mortgage payments in the first half of last year rose 15% on the same period a year previously.’
      • ‘Ten per cent of home owners are in arrears with their mortgage payments - and this in an economy that up to a couple of months ago was virtually fully employed.’
      • ‘But you'll have to agree that for medical aid schemes to be in arrears with payments for as long as 120 days - some have made no payments since January - is unforgivable.’
      • ‘In July 1997, Second Company was in arrears on its payments to Industrial Lending.’
      • ‘A number of property owners are in arrears with payment of rates and taxes.’
      • ‘In a statement, the council said: ‘There are four councillors in arrears with their rent.’’
      • ‘She was £300 in arrears with her rent, a situation she blamed on City of York Council's refusal to pay backdated housing benefit.’
      1. 1.1(of payments made or due for wages, rent, etc.) at the end of each period of work or occupancy.
        ‘you will be paid monthly in arrears’
        • ‘The minister admitted landlords were worried about unreliable tenants holding the cash, but a safeguard meant any cases where rent was eight weeks in arrears would see payments revert back to the landlord.’
        • ‘It was in response to this that the workers set up their protest camp to publicise their demands for the payment of wages in arrears, free health care and compensation for ‘grave injury to health’.’
        • ‘If the remedy is exercised prior to the rent falling in arrears, the distress will be considered illegal, and the landlord will be liable in damages to the owner of the goods distrained upon…’
        • ‘Payment of rent at six-monthly intervals gives rise to an annual tenancy and, since rent had been paid and accepted in arrears, law would presume that it was a term of the legal lease that rent should be paid in this manner.’
        • ‘There was at least one adjustment because of a decision to make maintenance payments in arrears.’
        • ‘The corresponding provision with regard to basic pay in the men's contract is less specific and refers to a national agreement from which the rate of wages to be paid weekly in arrears is to be determined.’
        • ‘Wage payments were three months in arrears, and some officers had received potatoes in lieu of pay.’
        • ‘Subsequently, CPPI changed its position and demanded payment of the taxes that were in arrears and appointed a receiver manager in respect of the property.’
        • ‘The Commission Scheme is based on gross margin on sales generated each month and is paid monthly in arrears…’
        • ‘Whether the rent is payable in advance or in arrears has in present circumstances no bearing whatever upon that function.’
        • ‘In 1879, President Hayes signed a bill to award qualifying soldiers and survivors payments in arrears, if they had not applied as soon as they qualified.’
        • ‘The benefit of this arrangement to the artist is that tax is payable in arrears instead of immediately the receipts come in and it is paid in accordance with accounts which can make due allowance for all properly deductible expenses.’
        • ‘You will be paid a basic salary of £4,000 per annum, payable in arrears, on the last working Friday of each calendar month.’
        • ‘In the March issue I was interested in Paul Lewis's article on weekly payment of retirement pensions, rather than monthly in arrears.’
        • ‘The IFA man also expressed concern to the Department that the payments will be made in arrears at the end of each year of the five-year plan compared to REPS where the payments are made at the start of each year.’
        • ‘A further alignment of EFT payments with that of other payment methods, including the elimination of the week in arrears payment, is being kept under review by his Department.’
        • ‘Buildings for the programme are identified and prioritised by the Johannesburg Property Company when the money owed in arrears to the City is more than the value of the building and legal action to recover the debt has not been successful.’
        • ‘The SHO suggested that as he had been reinstated, he would receive a lot of money in arrears.’
        • ‘Nearly all councils in Zambia are owing their workers millions of Kwacha in arrears and were looking up to Government to release grants to settle the wage bills.’
        • ‘The Hills, however, struck to their game plan and managed to eliminate $40,000 in arrears, including two car notes and about seven credit card balances.’
    • 2(of a competitor in a sports race or match) having a lower score or weaker performance than other competitors.

      ‘she finished ten metres in arrears’
      • ‘PE Tigers, with one more match to go, are six points in arrears and have scored 44 goals to 30 against.’
      • ‘Sato's car cut out as he approached the grid and he joined the race a lap in arrears.’
      • ‘As a result, York played short-handed for most of the first half, and were soon in arrears when Valley scored from close range after two minutes.’
      • ‘St. Pat's started slowly and found themselves in arrears when Willie Kavanagh scored a fine individual goal in the 12 th minute.’
      • ‘A team who have finished ahead of their primary opponents for the past three years, Hearts head into today's match in arrears.’
      • ‘A conversion was added and a penalty for offside put Ribb 10-0 in arrears.’
      • ‘Keith had a deficit of 15 metres to make up and with a very gritty performance he handed over the baton only five metres in arrears.’
      • ‘Ten points adrift in the first half, Palace had closed the deficit to five at the half, but with nine minutes to play found themselves eight points in arrears again.’
      • ‘With Michael Lumb and Darren Lehmann also in tremendous form, Yorkshire sprinted to 408 to give them a first innings lead of 146 and a late collapse left Essex still one run in arrears with only four wickets remaining.’
      • ‘Pontefract themselves failed to impress in the first half, and but for two glaring defensive errors by Keighley, could well have begun the second half in arrears.’
      • ‘Azertyuiop, who made a bad mistake at the water jump, had to settle for third, a further 13 lengths in arrears.’
      • ‘Ireland found themselves in arrears after ten minutes of play after right wing Richard Lane failed to secure a high kick from the French outside half Regis Lespinas.’
      • ‘The home team bowled out Glamorgan for 269 in 85.3 overs, before having an hour's batting during which they added a brisk 70 to end the day 199 runs in arrears with all ten wickets in hand.’
      • ‘However, they put up a gallant fight and were only 22-12 in arrears at half-time. That left Rib needing to score 52 points clear in the second period.’
      • ‘Tooreen came from behind (having been five points in arrears at half-time) to snatch a draw and the valuable point, which should see them qualify for the semi-final of the Genifit Cup.’
      • ‘The Eagles scored six goals to South's three in the second quarter which put South further behind and their tails dropped, leaving them 37 points in arrears at half time.’
      • ‘Holgate are two points behind with Bert Keech ‘C’ a further point in arrears and the top three teams meet each other in the final two weeks.’
      • ‘The Ballon based side fell behind in the 30 minute and were still in arrears as the game neared its end.’
      • ‘It was the best possible tonic for Kevin Garvey's men as the half-time whistle sounded and now just a point in arrears, the home support rallied behind their men upon the restart.’
      • ‘They failed to score in the opening period and were in arrears by 2-8 to nil at the break.’


Middle English (first used in the phrase in arrear): from arrear (adverb) ‘behind, overdue’, from Old French arere, from medieval Latin adretro, from ad- ‘towards’ + retro ‘backwards’.