retain

[ ri-teyn ]
/ rɪˈteɪn /

verb (used with object)

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.

Nearby words

  1. retail politics,
  2. retail price index,
  3. retail therapy,
  4. retailer,
  5. retailing,
  6. retained earnings,
  7. retained income,
  8. retained menstruation,
  9. retained object,
  10. retained object complement

Origin of retain

1350–1400; Middle English reteinen < Old French retenir < Latin retinēre to hold back, hold fast, equivalent to re- re- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for retain


British Dictionary definitions for retain

retain

/ (rɪˈteɪn) /

verb (tr)

Derived Formsretainable, adjectiveretainment, noun

Word Origin for retain

C14: from Old French retenir, from Latin retinēre to hold back, from re- + tenēre to hold

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 retain

retain

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper