[ ri-trench ]
/ rɪˈtrɛntʃ /

verb (used with object)

to cut down, reduce, or diminish; curtail (expenses).
to cut off or remove.
Military. to protect by a retrenchment.

verb (used without object)

to economize; reduce expenses: They retrenched by eliminating half of the workers.


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Origin of retrench

1600–10; < French retrencher (obsolete variant of retrancher), Middle French retrenchier, equivalent to re- re- + trenchier to trench


re·trench·a·ble, adjectivere·trench·er, nounun·re·trench·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·trenched, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for retrench

British Dictionary definitions for retrench

/ (rɪˈtrɛntʃ) /


to reduce or curtail (costs); economize
(tr) to shorten, delete, or abridge
(tr) to protect by a retrenchment

Derived forms of retrench

retrenchable, 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