- to cut down, reduce, or diminish; curtail (expenses).
- to cut off or remove.
- Military. to protect by a retrenchment.
- to economize; reduce expenses: They retrenched by eliminating half of the workers.
Origin of retrench
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. decrease, abridge, cut.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for retrench
Their instinct is to hold their ground rather than retrench, advance rather than retreat, intimidate rather than negotiate.Generals Can't Be Trusted
October 31, 2009
My distress was useless, my wishes to retrench our expenses ineffectual.Beaux and Belles of England
But there was only one way open to me at present—and that was to retrench my expenses.The Woman Thou Gavest Me
If he can retrench in pains without lessening his gains, be assured that he will do it.The Simple Life
But if you give him rope enough he will retrench you out of business.
They were in reduced circumstances: they had come down to Hadleigh to retrench.Not Like Other Girls
Rosa N. Carey
- to reduce or curtail (costs); economize
- (tr) to shorten, delete, or abridge
- (tr) to protect by a retrenchment
C17: from Old French retrenchier, from re- + trenchier to cut, from Latin truncāre to lop; see trench
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
Word Origin and History for retrench
1590s, "dig a new trench as a second line of defense," 1590s, probably a back-formation from retrenchment in the military sense. Related: Retrenched; retrenching.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper