- 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 for retain on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for retain
And despite the good scholarship the authors have managed to retain the buoyancy and upbeat air attendant on most comics.The Best Coffee Table Books of 2014
December 13, 2014
Now both breweries are fighting to retain their half of the cake.House of the Witch: The Renegade Craft Brewers of Panama
November 30, 2014
Canada and the United States are the only industrialized countries that retain birthright citizenship.Get Ready to Start Hearing About ‘Executive Amnesty for Anchor Babies’
November 19, 2014
Rohrabacher though did retain the bottle for official use in his Washington, D.C. office.Meditation Rugs, Swords, and Horse Head Fiddles: The Strangest Gifts Given to Government Bigwigs
November 11, 2014
First they must retain and work to expand their share of older voters.How Old People Will Decide Your Future
October 17, 2014
If a servant complained of being abused, his master had no power to retain him.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
For the present, he could not do better than to retain his place in the factory.Brave and Bold
To attempt to eliminate fear and retain this concept of God is vain.The Conquest of Fear
We should help him to retain their affection and faithfulness.An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism
If Cass had stolen the money it would never do to retain him in a position of trust.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
- 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 retain
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.