to go or come back, as to a former place, position, or state: to return from abroad;to return to public office;to return to work.
to revert to a former owner: The money I gave him returns to me in the event of his death.
to revert or recur, as in thought, discourse, etc.: He returned to his story.
to make a reply or retort: She returned with a witty sally.
to put, bring, take, give, or send back to the original place, position, etc.: to return a book to a shelf;to return a child to her mother;to return the switch to off position.
to send or give back in reciprocation, recompense, or requital: to return evil for good.
to reciprocate, repay, or react to (something sent, given, done, etc.) with something similar: to return the enemy's fire;to return a favor.
to give to a judge or official (a statement or a writ of actions done).
to render (a verdict, decision, etc.).
to reflect (light, sound, etc.).
to yield (a profit, revenue, etc.), as in return for labor, expenditure, or investment.
to report or announce officially: to return a list of members.
to elect, as to a legislative body: The voters returned him to office by a landslide.
Military. to put (a weapon) back into its holder.
Cards. to respond to (a suit led) by a similar lead: She returned diamonds.
to turn back or in the reverse direction, as a served ball in tennis.
Chiefly Architecture. to cause to turn or proceed in a different direction from the previous line of direction; reverse: to return a cornice at each end of a façade.
the act or fact of returning as by going or coming back or bringing, sending, or giving back: the return of the Jews from the Diaspora;We should appreciate your return of the book immediately.
a recurrence: the return of the moon each month.
reciprocation, repayment, or requital: profits in return for outlay.
response or reply.
a person or thing that is returned: returns of mill goods.
the gain realized on an exchange of goods.
Often returns . a yield or profit, as from labor, land, business, or investment: He received a quick return on his money.
Usually returns . an official or unofficial report on a count of votes, candidates elected, etc.: election returns.
Chiefly British. return ticket (def. 2).
the continuation of a molding, projection, etc., in a different direction.
a side or part that falls away from the front of any straight or flat member or area.
a tablelike extension attached at a right angle to a desk at typing height, for holding a typewriter, computer, etc.
a key or lever on a typewriter or other business machine that returns the carriage to the extreme right, or the typing element to the extreme left, for the beginning of a new line.
Computers. See under carriage return (def. 2).
the act of returning a ball.
the ball that is returned.
Football. a runback of a kick, intercepted pass, or fumble recovery.
Economics. yield per unit as compared to the cost per unit involved in a specific industrial process.
the bringing or sending back of various documents, such as a writ, summons, or subpoena, with a brief written report usually endorsed upon it, by a sheriff, to the court from which it issued.
a certified document by a great variety of officers, as assessors, collectors, and election officers.
the report or certificate endorsed in such documents.
Cards. a lead that responds to a partner's lead.
Theater. a flat or drapery parallel to the tormentor for masking the offstage area and often completing the downstage part of a set.
merchandise shipped back to a supplier from a retailer or distributor as unsold or unsalable.
merchandise returned to a retailer by a consumer.
of or relating to a return or returning: a return trip.
sent, given, or done in return: a return shot.
done or occurring again: a return engagement of the opera.
noting a person or thing that is returned or returning to a place: return cargo.
changing in direction; doubling or returning on itself: a return twist in a road.
used for returning, recirculating, etc.: the return road;a return pipe.
(of a game) played in order to provide the loser of an earlier game with the opportunity to win from the same opponent: return match.
adequate, necessary, or provided to enable the return of a mailed package or letter to its sender: return postage guaranteed;return address;return envelope.
- non·re·turn, adjective
- pre·re·turn, noun, verb (used without object)
- un·re·turned, adjective
- un·re·turn·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use return in a sentence
Despite the political controversy, research shows that mask mandates have great returns for public health.When states mandate masks, fewer people catch COVID-19 | | November 20, 2020 | Popular-Science
Any returns from companies in the fund will be repurposed into the investment vehicle.A16z is now managing $16.5 billion, after announcing two new funds | Natasha Mascarenhas | November 20, 2020 | TechCrunch
An email seeking clarity from Wolf’s office was not immediately returned Friday.Pennsylvania says all athletes must wear masks while playing. The Steelers say they’re exempt. | Matt Bonesteel | November 20, 2020 | Washington Post
As Maryland attempted to return to practice this week, “we had all types of contingency plans,” Locksley said.Maryland football is ‘committed to getting back,’ but timeline for return is unclear | Emily Giambalvo | November 20, 2020 | Washington Post
Dalton said Thursday that he got medical clearance after his case of covid-19 to return last week to the Cowboys’ facility, at which point he cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol.Cowboys QB Andy Dalton says covid-19 ‘hit me hard’ after concussion | Des Bieler | November 20, 2020 | Washington Post
A spokesman for Lewisham council said last year that it would be forced to act if the family returned to Britain.Britain May Spy on Preschoolers Searching for Potential Jihadis | Nico Hines | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
A single father, he had been living abroad and returned when his mother was diagnosed with cancer.
He contracted pneumonia, but he recovered and returned to demonstrating.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’ | Gary May | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Recall how Clinton returned to Arkansas from the campaign trail to preside over the execution of a mentally disabled man.
If they returned to their church, they would be spared a second attack.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’ | Gary May | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
In nine days he returned, bringing us the thanks of congress, and fresh orders.
Some of the alarm returned, however, when the creature attempted to climb up by his own ladder.The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
Many of their cannon balls that fell far short of us, were collected and returned to them with powerful effect.
There he gave orders for the car to be put into running condition for the following morning, and returned to the hotel.The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol | William J. Locke
He returned shortly, to meet his mother standing in the doorway, with pale, affrighted face.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
British Dictionary definitions for return
(intr) to come back to a former place or state
(tr) to give, take, or carry back; replace or restore
(tr) to repay or recompense, esp with something of equivalent value: return the compliment
(tr) to earn or yield (profit or interest) as an income from an investment or venture
(intr) to come back or revert in thought or speech: I'll return to that later
(intr) to recur or reappear: the symptoms have returned
to answer or reply
(tr) to vote into office; elect
(tr) law (of a jury) to deliver or render (a verdict)
(tr) to send back or reflect (light or sound): the canyon returned my shout
(tr) to submit (a report, etc) about (someone or something) to someone in authority
(tr) cards to lead back (the suit led by one's partner)
(tr) ball games to hit, throw, or play (a ball) back
(tr) architect to turn (a part, decorative moulding, etc) away from its original direction
return thanks (of Christians) to say grace before a meal
the act or an instance of coming back
something that is given or sent back, esp unsatisfactory merchandise returned to the maker or supplier or a theatre ticket sent back by a purchaser for resale
the act or an instance of putting, sending, or carrying back; replacement or restoration
(often plural) the yield, revenue, or profit accruing from an investment, transaction, or venture
the act or an instance of reciprocation or repayment (esp in the phrase in return for)
a recurrence or reappearance
an official report, esp of the financial condition of a company
a form (a tax return) on which a statement concerning one's taxable income is made
the statement itself
(often plural) a statement of the votes counted at an election or poll
an answer or reply
British short for return ticket
NZ informal a second helping of food served at a table
a part of a building that forms an angle with the façade
any part of an architectural feature that forms an angle with the main part
law a report by a bailiff or other officer on the outcome of a formal document such as a claim, summons, etc, issued by a court
cards a lead of a card in the suit that one's partner has previously led
ball games the act of playing or throwing a ball back
by return or by return of post British by the next post back to the sender
many happy returns or many happy returns of the day a conventional greeting to someone on his or her birthday
the point of no return the point at which a person's commitment is irrevocable
of, relating to, or characterized by a return: a return visit; a return performance
denoting a second, reciprocated occasion: a return match
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with return
In addition to the idioms beginning with return
- return the compliment
- return to the fold
- in return
- many happy returns
- point of no return
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.