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See more synonyms for retriever on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or thing that retrieves.
  2. one of any of several breeds of dogs having a coarse, thick, oily coat, trained to retrieve game.
  3. any dog trained to retrieve game.
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Origin of retriever

First recorded in 1480–90; retrieve + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for retriever

beagle, mongrel, canine, mutt, afghan, pointer, basset, poodle, dachshund, pooch, airedale, retriever, akita, bowwow

Examples from the Web for retriever

Contemporary Examples of retriever

Historical Examples of retriever

  • Have you ever seen a retriever dashing in play after a greyhound?

    The Good Soldier

    Ford Madox Ford

  • Aye, but Bigot set her on him, like a retriever, to bring back the game!

    The Golden Dog

    William Kirby

  • He was accompanied by the old dog, who was to act as retriever.

    Anecdotes of Dogs

    Edward Jesse

  • A gamekeeper had a Newfoundland dog which he used as a retriever.

    Anecdotes of Dogs

    Edward Jesse

  • He went about somewhat like a retriever snuffing the air for game.

    The Iron Horse

    R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for retriever


  1. one of a breed of large gun dogs that can be trained to retrieve gameSee golden retriever, Labrador retriever, Chesapeake Bay retriever, curly-coated retriever, flat-coated retriever
  2. any dog used to retrieve shot game
  3. a person or thing that retrieves
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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 retriever


"dog used for retrieving game," late 15c., agent noun from retrieve.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper