retreat

[ ri-treet ]
/ rɪˈtrit /
||

noun

verb (used without object)

Idioms

    beat a retreat, to withdraw or retreat, especially hurriedly or in disgrace.

Origin of retreat

1300–50; (noun) Middle English retret < Old French, variant of retrait, noun use of past participle of retraire to draw back < Latin retrahere (re- re- + trahere to draw; see retract1); (v.) late Middle English retreten < Middle French retraitier < Latin retractāre to retract2
SYNONYMS FOR retreat
8 leave, pull back.
ANTONYMS FOR retreat
1, 8, 9 advance.
Related formsre·treat·al, adjectivere·treat·er, nounre·treat·ive, adjective
Can be confusedre-treat retreat

Synonym study

8. See depart.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for beat a retreat

retreat

/ (rɪˈtriːt) /

verb (mainly intr)

noun

Word Origin for retreat

C14: from Old French retret, from retraire to withdraw, from Latin retrahere to pull back; see retract
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

Idioms and Phrases with beat a retreat (1 of 2)

beat a retreat


Also, beat a hasty retreat. Reverse course or withdraw, usually quickly. For example, I really don't want to run into Jeff—let's beat a retreat. This term originally (1300s) referred to the military practice of sounding drums to call back troops. Today it is used only figuratively, as in the example above.

Idioms and Phrases with beat a retreat (2 of 2)

retreat


see beat a retreat.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.