Pronounced: dih-MITT, verb
Notes: I know remit, but not demit
The word rearguard means “of or relating to resistance especially to sweeping social forces”
This word showed up in the late 1800s
Background / Comments
There is a noun “rear guard” that goes back to the late 1400s. It refers to soldiers that are stationed at the rear of a body to protect it from attack – especially during retreat. Note that the troops as the front are called the “vanguard”. A rearguard action is the defensive or delaying fight waged as resistance against the encroaching enemy. Through figurative extension, the word began to apply to other means of resistance, often by a small force against a more powerful one.