[ ri-tahyuhr ]
See synonyms for: retireretiredretiring on

verb (used without object),re·tired, re·tir·ing.
  1. to withdraw from one's career, occupation, or office, usually because of age: to retire at the age of sixty.

  2. to withdraw, or go away or apart, to a place of privacy, shelter, or seclusion: He retired to his study.

  1. to go to bed: He retired at midnight.

  2. to fall back or retreat in an orderly fashion and according to plan, as from battle, an untenable position, danger, etc.

  3. to withdraw or remove oneself: After announcing the guests, the butler retired.

verb (used with object),re·tired, re·tir·ing.
  1. to withdraw from circulation by taking up and paying, as bonds, bills, etc.; redeem.

  2. to withdraw or lead back (troops, ships, etc.), as from battle or danger; retreat.

  1. to remove from active service or the usual field of activity, as an army officer or business executive.

  2. to withdraw (a machine, ship, etc.) permanently from its normal service, usually for scrapping; take out of use.

  3. Baseball, Cricket. to put out or end the offensive play of (a batter, runner, side, etc.): The pitcher’s on fire, retiring the last five hitters with strikeouts.With two runners stranded on base, the side is retired.

  1. a place of withdrawal; retreat: a cool retire from summer's heat.

  2. retirement or withdrawal, as from worldly matters or the company of others.

Origin of retire

First recorded in1525–35; from Middle French retirer “to withdraw, pull back,” equivalent to re- re- + tirer “to draw”

synonym study For retire

5. See depart.

Other words for retire

Other words from retire

  • re·tir·er, noun

Words Nearby retire

Other definitions for retiré (2 of 2)

[ French ruh-tee-rey ]

noun,plural re·ti·rés [French ruh-tee-rey]. /French rə tiˈreɪ/. Ballet.
  1. a movement in which the dancer brings one foot to the knee of the supporting leg and then returns it to the fifth position.

Origin of retiré

<French, past participle of retirer to retire Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use retire in a sentence

  • Will the new issues promptly retire when their special task is over?

    Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
  • The unhappy applicant was naturally obliged to temporarily retire from the game, at all events for that night.

  • A lineman was sent out to repair it under escort of civil guards, who were forced by the rebels to retire.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • “I understood, Baron, that you had quite made up your mind to retire within a very few weeks,” said David Arden.

    Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • "Perhaps you will not care to retire, and would rather sit out where the air is best," she suggested.

    The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux

British Dictionary definitions for retire


/ (rɪˈtaɪə) /

verb(mainly intr)
  1. (also tr) to give up or to cause (a person) to give up his work, a post, etc, esp on reaching pensionable age (in Britain and Australia usually 65 for men, 60 for women)

  2. to go away, as into seclusion, for recuperation, etc

  1. to go to bed

  2. to recede or disappear: the sun retired behind the clouds

  3. to withdraw from a sporting contest, esp because of injury

  4. (also tr) to pull back (troops, etc) from battle or an exposed position or (of troops, etc) to fall back

  5. (tr)

    • to remove (bills, bonds, shares, etc) from circulation by taking them up and paying for them

    • to remove (money) from circulation

Origin of retire

C16: from French retirer, from Old French re- + tirer to pull, draw

Derived forms of retire

  • retirer, noun

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