[ ri-tahrd, for 1-3, 5; ree-tahrd for 4 ]
/ rɪˈtɑrd, for 1-3, 5; ˈri tɑrd for 4 /
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verb (used with object)

to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.

verb (used without object)

to be delayed.


a slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.
Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
  1. a contemptuous term used to refer to a person who is cognitively impaired.
  2. a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard.
Automotive, Machinery. an adjustment made in the setting of the distributor of an internal-combustion engine so that the spark for ignition in each cylinder is generated later in the cycle.



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On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.
Compare advance.

Origin of retard

1480–90; <Latin retardāre to delay, protract, equivalent to re-re- + tardāre to loiter, be slow, derivative of tardus slow; see tardy
See retarded.
re·tard·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for retard


verb (rɪˈtɑːd)

(tr) to delay or slow down (the progress, speed, or development) of (something)

noun (ˈriːtɑːd)

US offensive a retarded person
US offensive a foolish person
C15: from Old French retarder, from Latin retardāre, from re- + tardāre to make slow, from tardus sluggish; see tardy
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
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