[ 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.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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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

usage note for retard

See retarded.


re·tard·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

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

Word Origin for retard

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