• synonyms


See more synonyms for retrench on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to cut down, reduce, or diminish; curtail (expenses).
  2. to cut off or remove.
  3. Military. to protect by a retrenchment.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to economize; reduce expenses: They retrenched by eliminating half of the workers.
Show More

Origin of retrench

1600–10; < French retrencher (obsolete variant of retrancher), Middle French retrenchier, equivalent to re- re- + trenchier to trench
Related formsre·trench·a·ble, adjectivere·trench·er, nounun·re·trench·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·trenched, adjective

Synonyms for retrench

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for retrench

curtail, conserve, trim, scrimp, economize, reduce, delete, confine, shorten, omit, lessen, diminish, decrease, remove, slash, abridge, limit, save, eliminate

Examples from the Web for retrench

Contemporary Examples of retrench

Historical Examples of retrench

British Dictionary definitions for retrench


  1. to reduce or curtail (costs); economize
  2. (tr) to shorten, delete, or abridge
  3. (tr) to protect by a retrenchment
Show More
Derived Formsretrenchable, adjective

Word Origin for retrench

C17: from Old French retrenchier, from re- + trenchier to cut, from Latin truncāre to lop; see trench
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 retrench


1590s, "dig a new trench as a second line of defense," 1590s, probably a back-formation from retrenchment in the military sense. Related: Retrenched; retrenching.

Show More

"cut off, cut down, pare away" (expenses, etc.), 1620s, from obsolete French retrencher "to cut off, lessen, shorten" (Modern French retrancher, Old French retrenchier), from re- "back" (see re-) + Old French trenchier "to cut" (see trench). Related: Retrenched; retrenching.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper