- the forced or strategic withdrawal of an army or an armed force before an enemy, or the withdrawing of a naval force from action.
- the act of withdrawing, as into safety or privacy; retirement; seclusion.
- a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy: The library was his retreat.
- an asylum, as for the insane.
- a retirement or a period of retirement for religious exercises and meditation.
- a flag-lowering ceremony held at sunset on a military post.
- the bugle call or drumbeat played at this ceremony.
- the recession of a surface, as a wall or panel, from another surface beside it.
- to withdraw, retire, or draw back, especially for shelter or seclusion.
- to make a retreat: The army retreated.
- to slope backward; recede: a retreating chin.
- to draw or lead back.
- beat a retreat, to withdraw or retreat, especially hurriedly or in disgrace.
Origin of retreat
SynonymsSee more synonyms for retreat on Thesaurus.com
- to treat again.
Origin of re-treat
Examples from the Web for retreat
She completed a yoga teacher-training program and, in the spring of 2008, went on a retreat in Peru to study with shamans.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze
January 9, 2015
Finally, a squad of reinforcements arrived and they were able to retreat.The Brothers Who Ambushed ISIS
Mohammed A. Salih
December 27, 2014
The law professor, Benny Tai, urged the students to “retreat and take the spirit of the Umbrella Movement into the community.”
With falling temperatures, retreat has become a much more attractive option than before.
America, Stephens writes, is not necessarily in “decline” but rather “retreat.”‘America in Retreat’: Why Neo-Isolationism Exploded Under Obama and What We Can Do About It
December 1, 2014
Unless we are fortunate enough to find some, retreat is inevitable.
If we fail, there must be a retreat westwards at least seventy miles.
The Czar might retreat until his pursuers perished of fatigue and hunger.
A few shots were exchanged, and Melton was compelled to retreat.
Doyle had received news, which occasioned him to retreat for Camden.
- military to withdraw or retire in the face of or from action with an enemy, either due to defeat or in order to adopt a more favourable position
- to retire or withdraw, as to seclusion or shelter
- (of a person's features) to slope back; recede
- (tr) chess to move (a piece) back
- the act of retreating or withdrawing
- a withdrawal or retirement in the face of the enemy
- a bugle call signifying withdrawal or retirement, esp (formerly) to within a defended fortification
- retirement or seclusion
- a place, such as a sanatorium or monastery, to which one may retire for refuge, quiet, etc
- a period of seclusion, esp for religious contemplation
- an institution, esp a private one, for the care and treatment of people who are mentally ill, infirm, elderly, etc
Word Origin and History for retreat
c.1300, "a step backward;" late 14c., "act of retiring or withdrawing; military signal for retiring from action or exercise," from Old French retret, noun use of past participle of retrere "draw back," from Latin retrahere "draw back, withdraw, call back," from re- "back" (see re-) + trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)). Meaning "place of seclusion" is from early 15c.; sense of "establishment for mentally ill persons" is from 1797. Meaning "period of retirement for religious self-examination" is from 1756.
early 15c., "to draw in, draw back, leave the extremities," from retreat (n.) and in part from Old French retret, past participle of retrere. Meaning "to fall back from battle" is mid-15c. Related: Retreated; retreating.
Idioms and Phrases with retreat
see beat a retreat.