[ ri-tey-ner ]
See synonyms for: retainerretainers on

  1. a person or thing that retains.

  2. a servant or attendant who has served a family for many years.

  1. Also called cage, separator. Machinery. a ring separating, and moving with, balls or rollers in a bearing.

  2. Orthodontics.

    • a fixed or removable device worn in the mouth to hold the teeth in their new position during the adaptive period after straightening appliances have been removed.

    • Prosthodontics. a part on a bridge or the like by which the bridge is attached to the natural teeth.

Origin of retainer

First recorded in 1530–40; retain + -er1

Other words from retainer

  • re·tain·er·ship, noun

Words Nearby retainer

Other definitions for retainer (2 of 2)

[ ri-tey-ner ]

  1. the act of retaining in one's service.

  2. the fact of being so retained.

  1. a fee paid to secure services, as of a lawyer.

Origin of retainer

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English reteinir, probably noun use of Middle French retenir ; see retain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use retainer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for retainer


/ (rɪˈteɪnə) /

  1. history a supporter or dependant of a person of rank, esp a soldier

  2. a servant, esp one who has been with a family for a long time

  1. a clip, frame, or similar device that prevents a part of a machine, engine, etc, from moving

  2. a dental appliance for holding a loose tooth or prosthetic device in position

  3. a fee paid in advance to secure first option on the services of a barrister, jockey, etc

  4. a reduced rent paid for a flat, room, etc, during absence to reserve it for future use

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