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[ri-tree-ver] /rɪˈtri vər/
a person or thing that retrieves.
one of any of several breeds of dogs having a coarse, thick, oily coat, trained to retrieve game.
any dog trained to retrieve game.
Origin of retriever
First recorded in 1480-90; retrieve + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for retriever
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Have you ever seen a retriever dashing in play after a greyhound?

    The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
  • Aye, but Bigot set her on him, like a retriever, to bring back the game!

    The Golden Dog William Kirby
  • He was accompanied by the old dog, who was to act as retriever.

    Anecdotes of Dogs Edward Jesse
  • A gamekeeper had a Newfoundland dog which he used as a retriever.

    Anecdotes of Dogs Edward Jesse
  • He went about somewhat like a retriever snuffing the air for game.

    The Iron Horse R.M. Ballantyne
  • I dived after it like a retriever puppy for a stone; but the bottle was gone!

    The Celebrity, Complete Winston Churchill
  • The portrait was one of myself, and the dog a half-bred setter and retriever of my own.

    Animal Intelligence George J. Romanes
British Dictionary definitions for retriever


one of a breed of large gun dogs that can be trained to retrieve game See golden retriever, Labrador retriever, Chesapeake Bay retriever, curly-coated retriever, flat-coated retriever
any dog used to retrieve shot game
a person or thing that retrieves
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 retriever

"dog used for retrieving game," late 15c., agent noun from retrieve.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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