[ ri-teyn ]
/ rɪˈteɪn /
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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.
Medicine/Medical. to keep in the body, especially abnormally; fail to eliminate: I was referred to a specialty clinic and they discovered that I was retaining urine.
OTHER WORDS FOR retain
OPPOSITES FOR retain
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Origin of retain
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English reteinen, from Old French retenir, from Latin retinēre “to hold back, hold fast,” equivalent to re- re- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre “to hold”
synonym study for retain
1. See keep.
OTHER WORDS FROM retain
re·tain·a·ble, adjectivere·tain·a·bil·i·ty [ri-tey-nuh-bil-i-tee], /rɪˌteɪ nəˈbɪl ɪ ti/, re·tain·a·ble·ness, nounre·tain·ment, nounnon·re·tain·a·ble, adjective
non·re·tain·ment, nounun·re·tain·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·tain·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use retain in a sentence
The Terrapins’ offensive line retained three starters from last season — Jaelyn Duncan, Johnny Jordan and Marcus Minor.Taulia Tagovailoa responded after a rough opener and now Maryland’s offense is rolling|Emily Giambalvo|November 11, 2020|Washington Post
Maryland has allowed local governments to reopen more slowly than the state’s timeline and to retain more restrictive policies, even as Hogan lifts them statewide.Maryland governor adds coronavirus restrictions as cases surge across the Washington region|Rebecca Tan, Erin Cox, Patricia Sullivan|November 11, 2020|Washington Post
A longer, mountain-bike-specific cut fits over baggier layers and offers generous coverage while retaining a slim and flattering shape.Best Women's Mountain Bike Gear for Fall Riding|Gloria Liu|November 7, 2020|Outside Online
Alibaba today retains a dominant share in China’s e-commerce market.Jack Ma is the poster child of Chinese tech. Why is Beijing reining him in—again?|Naomi Xu Elegant|November 7, 2020|Fortune
For some categories of creators, mobile has retained an even bigger hold on audiences among some categories of creators.YouTube creators are seeing connected TV’s viewership share increase|Tim Peterson|November 6, 2020|Digiday
British Dictionary definitions for retain
/ (rɪˈteɪn) /
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
Derived forms of retainretainable, 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