- to treat again.
Origin of re-treat
- 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
Examples from the Web for retreating
Hamdan also appears to be retreating when the lethal shot is fired.A New Intifada? Israel’s Arab Citizen Uprising Spreads
November 10, 2014
For retreating in 1999, Sharif was overthrown in a coup by the army commander, Pervez Musharraf, who had planned the Kargil War.ICYMI: India-Pakistan Head for Nuke War
October 20, 2014
And President Obama has caused more carnage in Iraq by retreating than other presidents caused by invading.Up to a Point: Shrugging Our Way Back to War in Iraq
P. J. O’Rourke
August 16, 2014
If opponents of gay rights are supposed to be retreating into oblivion, they missed the memo.Red America’s Anti-Gay Backlash
June 15, 2014
Batman resents Superman for disbanding the Justice League and retreating into isolating.The Super-Stuffed Superhero Movie
December 11, 2013
A blind man might have followed the trail of the retreating army.
Margaret stood in the doorway, listening to the retreating footsteps.
"I don't think they'll keep on retreating forever, Ohio," he said.
But Grant, as Colonel Woodville foresaw, had no idea of retreating.
The Marquis looked that way, and listened for the retreating step of his valet.A Tale of Two Cities
- 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 retreating
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 retreating
see beat a retreat.