- to keep possession of.
- to continue to use, practice, etc.: to retain an old custom.
- to continue to hold or have: to retain a prisoner in custody; a cloth that retains its color.
- to keep in mind; remember.
- to hold in place or position.
- to engage, especially by payment of a preliminary fee: to retain a lawyer.
Origin of retain
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for retaining
Marvin hops over the edge of his retaining wall, which he built.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
Cameron's comments will only confirm that she was in favour of retaining the Union all along.How the Queen ‘Purred’ With Pleasure at Scottish Referendum Result
September 23, 2014
World leaders, businesses, and economists have broadly supported the case for retaining the union.Voter Intimidation Grips Scotland as It Votes on Independence
September 18, 2014
The Upper East Side is starting to shed its Sixth Sense “I see dead people,” while retaining its grand roots.Why the Upper East Side Is Now Cooler Than Brooklyn
September 2, 2014
In a brief interview, he told me that any deal would have to involve “retaining the National Archives of Iraq.”Saddam’s Jewish Treasures
February 8, 2014
By retaining his own calm he saw that he kept a great advantage.Way of the Lawless
"A kleptomaniac," Smithson explained, retaining his manner of mild insistence.Within the Law
They command us to assist and serve him in retaining his own.An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism
A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones.The Devil's Dictionary
I had a long argument with him over the question of retaining Hell.City of Endless Night
- to keep in one's possession
- to be able to hold or containsoil that retains water
- (of a person) to be able to remember (information, facts, etc) without difficulty
- to hold in position
- to keep for one's future use, as by paying a retainer or nominal chargeto retain one's rooms for the holidays
- law to engage the services of (a barrister) by payment of a preliminary fee
- (in selling races) to buy back a winner that one owns when it is auctioned after the race
- (of racehorse trainers) to pay an advance fee to (a jockey) so as to have prior or exclusive claims upon his services throughout the season
Word Origin and History for retaining
late 14c., "hold back, restrain;" c.1400, "continue keeping, keep possession of," from Old French retenir "keep, retain; take into feudal service; hold back; remember" (12c.), from Latin retinere "hold back, keep back, detain, restrain," from re- "back" (see re-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Meaning "keep (another) attached to one's person, keep in service" is from mid-15c.; specifically of lawyers from 1540s. Meaning "keep in the mind" is from c.1500. Related: Retained; retaining.