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verb (used without object), re·tired, re·tir·ing.
  1. to withdraw, or go away or apart, to a place of privacy, shelter, or seclusion: He retired to his study.
  2. to go to bed: He retired at midnight.
  3. to withdraw from office, business, or active life, usually because of age: to retire at the age of sixty.
  4. to fall back or retreat in an orderly fashion and according to plan, as from battle, an untenable position, danger, etc.
  5. 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.
  3. to remove from active service or the usual field of activity, as an army officer or business executive.
  4. to withdraw (a machine, ship, etc.) permanently from its normal service, usually for scrapping; take out of use.
  5. Sports. to put out (a batter, side, etc.).
noun Literary.
  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

1525–35; < Middle French retirer to withdraw, equivalent to re- re- + tirer to draw
Related formsre·tir·er, noun

Synonyms for retire

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Synonym study

5. See depart.


[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. 2018

Examples from the Web for retire

Contemporary Examples of retire

Historical Examples of retire

British Dictionary definitions for retire


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
  3. to go to bed
  4. to recede or disappearthe sun retired behind the clouds
  5. to withdraw from a sporting contest, esp because of injury
  6. (also tr) to pull back (troops, etc) from battle or an exposed position or (of troops, etc) to fall back
  7. (tr)
    1. to remove (bills, bonds, shares, etc) from circulation by taking them up and paying for them
    2. to remove (money) from circulation
Derived Formsretirer, noun

Word Origin for retire

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

Word Origin and History for retire

1530s, of armies, "to retreat," from Middle French retirer "to withdraw (something)," from re- "back" (see re-) + Old French tirer "to draw" (see tirade). Related: Retired; retiring.

Meaning "to withdraw" to some place, especially for the sake of privacy, is recorded from 1530s; sense of "leave an occupation" first attested 1640s (implied in retirement). Meaning "to leave company and go to bed" is from 1660s. Transitive sense is from 1540s, originally "withdraw, lead back" (troops, etc.); meaning "to remove from active service" is from 1680s. Baseball sense of "to put out" is recorded from 1874.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper