• synonyms


[ri-tree-vuh l]
See more synonyms for retrieval on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of retrieving.
  2. the chance of recovery or restoration: lost beyond retrieval.
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Origin of retrieval

First recorded in 1635–45; retrieve + -al2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for retrieval

rebirth, renascence, recuperation, revival, rejuvenation, renewal, revivification, resurgence, regeneration, improvement, renaissance, repossession, cure, healing, resuscitation, resurrection, comeback, betterment, rehabilitation, convalescence

Examples from the Web for retrieval

Historical Examples of retrieval

  • It was just the moment for the Church party to attempt a retrieval of their lost power.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • In Æschylus, when once "destiny" is about, all retrieval grows absurd.

    The English Novel

    Sidney Lanier

  • He is the best who wins the most splendid victories by the retrieval of mistakes.

  • But what retrieval of lost comeliness could be effected in a day or two?

    The Mountebank

    William J. Locke

  • The abolition of slavery, and the retrieval of specie in this colony, are the subjects on which I would bespeak their attention.

British Dictionary definitions for retrieval


  1. the act or process of retrieving
  2. the possibility of recovery, restoration, or rectification (esp in the phrase beyond retrieval)
  3. a computer filing operation that recalls records or other data from a file
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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 retrieval


1640s, from retrieve + -al (2).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

retrieval in Medicine


  1. The third stage in the memory process, after encoding and storage, involving mental processes associated with bringing stored information back into consciousness.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.