See more synonyms for retool on
verb (used with object)
  1. to replace or rearrange the tools and machinery of (a factory).
  2. to reorganize or rearrange, usually for the purpose of updating: to retool the industrial organization.
verb (used without object)
  1. to replace or rearrange the tools of a factory.
  2. to replace the stamping machinery of a factory, especially to make a remodeled product.

Origin of retool

First recorded in 1935–40; re- + tool
Related formsre·tool·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of retool

British Dictionary definitions for retool


  1. to replace, re-equip, or rearrange the tools in (a factory, etc)
  2. mainly US and Canadian to revise or reorganize
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 retool

1866, "to shape again with a tool," from re- "back, again" + tool (v.). Meaning "to furnish a factory with new equipment" is recorded from 1940. Related: Retooled; retooling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper