- a person or thing that retains.
- a servant or attendant who has served a family for many years.
- Also called cage, separator. Machinery. a ring separating, and moving with, balls or rollers in a bearing.
- a fixed or removable device worn in the mouth to hold the teeth in their new position during the adaptive period after straightening appliances have been removed.
- Prosthodontics.a part on a bridge or the like by which the bridge is attached to the natural teeth.
Origin of retainer1
Origin of retainer2
Examples from the Web for retainer
Like any high-powered attorney who charges $100,000 for a retainer, Bolt always seems to be one step ahead of the competition.Gone Girl’s Biggest Twist Is the Superb Tyler Perry
October 6, 2014
One of the perks offered by the challenge is help from a list of professionals the foundation will keep on retainer.Rockefeller Foundation Announces $100 Million Project to Make Cities More Resilient
May 14, 2013
Is it worth it for these companies to keep stars and their keepers on retainer?Battle of the Oscar Stylists
February 20, 2009
Napier thought there was some collusion between the juggler and his retainer.Self-Help
Do I understand—do you mean that you wish me to accept Cousin Holliday's retainer?Thankful's Inheritance
Joseph C. Lincoln
And there is no retainer so devoted as he who is allowed to sit on the doorstep.Some Reminiscences
They been paying me off—and that's a retainer, you might say.Police Your Planet
Lester del Rey
The Resident learned this from a retainer of one of these nobles.At the Point of the Bayonet
G. A. Henty
- history a supporter or dependant of a person of rank, esp a soldier
- a servant, esp one who has been with a family for a long time
- a clip, frame, or similar device that prevents a part of a machine, engine, etc, from moving
- a dental appliance for holding a loose tooth or prosthetic device in position
- a fee paid in advance to secure first option on the services of a barrister, jockey, etc
- a reduced rent paid for a flat, room, etc, during absence to reserve it for future use
Word Origin and History for retainer
"fee to secure services," mid-15c., originally "act of keeping for oneself" from retain, or perhaps from or influenced by Middle French retenir, infinitive used as a noun. Meaning "fee paid to an attorney to secure his services" is from 1818.
"servant," 1530s, agent noun from retain (v.). Also "one who retains or holds" (1540s). Meaning "dental structure used to hold a bridge in place" is recorded from 1887.
- One that retains, as a device, frame, or groove that restrains or guides, especially for a prosthesis.
- An appliance used to hold teeth in position after orthodontic treatment.