a person or thing that retrieves.
one of any of several breeds of dogs having a coarse, thick, oily coat, trained to retrieve game.
any dog trained to retrieve game.

Origin of retriever

First recorded in 1480–90; retrieve + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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



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
any dog used to retrieve shot game
a person or thing that retrieves
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper