View synonyms for retention


[ ri-ten-shuhn ]


  1. the act of retaining.
  2. the state of being retained.
  3. the power to retain; capacity for retaining.
  4. the act or power of remembering things; memory.


/ rɪˈtɛnʃən /


  1. the act of retaining or state of being retained
  2. the capacity to hold or retain liquid
  3. the capacity to remember
  4. pathol the abnormal holding within the body of urine, faeces, etc, that are normally excreted
  5. commerce a sum of money owed to a contractor but not paid for an agreed period as a safeguard against any faults found in the work carried out
  6. plural accounting profits earned by a company but not distributed as dividends; retained earnings

Discover More

Other Words From

  • nonre·tention noun
  • over·re·tention noun

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of retention1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English retencion, from Latin retentiōn-, stem of retentiō “restraint, withholding,” from retent(us) “held back” (past participle of retinēre “to hold back”; retain ) + -iō -ion

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of retention1

C14: from Latin retentiō , from retinēre to retain

Discover More

Example Sentences

Naturally, app publishers and marketers worldwide consider it extremely important to monitor several metrics concerning user engagement, user retention, and business conversion.

Long-term urine retention can lead to bladder damage, urinary tract infections, and even kidney damage.

The 64-year-old company formerly known as Automotive Lease Guide forecasts that the premium electric-car segment will go from currently having the lowest auction-value retention after three years to the fourth-highest 36 months from now.

From Fortune

Both the county and Escondido have short email retention policies as well, but leaders there decided to suspend their policies because of the pandemic.

For one, video content gets a longer viewing period, which means you boost user retention and prolong the interaction people have with your content.

A citizens group, Kansans for Justice, has sprung up as well to oppose retention of Justices Lee Johnson and Eric Rosen.

This being Monty Python, the answer should have been obvious—their memories are no more; their line retention has ceased to be.

From 2009, News International has run an ‘email deletion’ or ‘data retention’ policy as do many companies.

According to the enlightened celeb, “I don't particularly gain water; I don't have water retention.”

But this was an element of Jeff that I understood; his mimicry and his retention for music and melody.

Should the fluid contain food-particles, it is probably the result of retention, not hypersecretion.

In due course the news came that the date of voting in the Senate for or against the retention of the Islands was fixed.

Memory, which implies a former conscious experience, its retention, revival and recognition.

This was rejected; and the lords, when the bill returned to them, did not insist upon its retention.

Did he say he was innocent, or did he just have this conversation with respect to the retention of a counsel?


Discover More

More About Retention

What is retention?

Retention is the act of retaining, that is, holding onto or keeping possession of something, as in Kim noted the plant’s successful retention of water.

Retention is also used to refer to the state of being retained or having the power to retain something, as in The lawyer was outraged by the police’s continued retention of his client.

Retention can also mean that something or someone has the power to retain things, especially a person’s ability to retain information in their memory, as in Weekly testing is done to improve students’ retention of what they have learned.

Example: Justine worked hard to improve the retention of skilled employees at her company.

Where does retention come from?

The first record of retention comes from around 1350. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb retinēre, meaning “to retain.” The verb retain has the same origin.

All of retention’s meanings are commonly used. You’re likely to use this word to talk about how well something is at holding or hanging on to something else. For example, a business’s ability to retain employees or, more importantly, paying customers over time is often a key way to tell if a company is growing or failing.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to retention?

  • nonretention (noun)
  • overretention (noun)

What are some synonyms for retention?

What are some words that share a root or word element with retention?

What are some words that often get used in discussing retention?

How is retention used in real life?

Retention is often used to describe something’s ability to hang on to things like memories or customers.

Try using retention!

Which of the following is a synonym of retention?

A. release
B. prevention
C. holding
D. discovery