- a flag-lowering ceremony held at sunset on a military post.
- the bugle call or drumbeat played at this ceremony.
verb (used without object)
Origin of retreat
ANTONYMS FOR retreat
Related formsre·treat·al, adjectivere·treat·er, nounre·treat·ive, adjective
Can be confusedre-treat retreat
British Dictionary definitions for beat a retreat
verb (mainly intr)
- a withdrawal or retirement in the face of the enemy
- a bugle call signifying withdrawal or retirement, esp (formerly) to within a defended fortification
Word Origin for retreat
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)
see beat a retreat.