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2017 Word of the Year

ret

[ret] /rɛt/
verb (used with object), retted, retting.
1.
to soak in water or expose to moisture, as flax or hemp, to facilitate the removal of the fiber from the woody tissue by partial rotting.
Origin of ret
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English reten, retten; cognate with Dutch reten (compare Dutch roten, German rössen, Swedish röta); akin to rot
Related forms
unretted, adjective

ret.

1.
2.
3.
4.
returned.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for ret

ret

/rɛt/
verb rets, retting, retted
1.
(transitive) to moisten or soak (flax, hemp, jute, etc) to promote bacterial action in order to facilitate separation of the fibres from the woody tissue by beating
Word Origin
C15: of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch reeten, Swedish röta, German rösten; see rot1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ret
v.

"to soak stems of fibrous plants (flax, hemp, jute, etc.) to soften them," mid-15c., probably from Middle Dutch roten (or an unrecorded cognate Old Norse word that is related to Norwegian røyta, Swedish röta, Danish røde); considered to be related to Old English rotian "to rot" (see rot (v.)), but the vowel is difficult.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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3
3
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