Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Arrearages


What is the dictionary definition of Arrearages?

Dictionary Definition

Overdue alimony or child support payments. In recent years, state laws have made it difficult to impossible to get rid of arrearages; they can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, and courts usually will not retroactively cancel them. A spouse or parent who falls on tough times and is unable to make payments should request a temporary modification of the payments before the arrearages build up.

Full Definition of Arrearages

  1. An amount of an obligation which is past.
  2. For a bond or preferred share, overdue interest or dividends.

Examples of Arrearages in a sentence

The man said it would take 3 more years to pay off the arrearage on his car including the interest.

It was past due, so I told my friend that it was an arrearage and we might as well forget about it and let it go.

Preferred stocks can temporarily suspend dividends; however, they must resume paying them before common stock dividends can be paid, including the past due dividend amounts, called an arrearage.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Arrearages. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
January 18, 2022
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Arrearages. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: January 18, 2022).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Arrearages. Retrieved January 18, 2022
, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Arrearages are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 5th November, 2021 | 0 Views.