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See more synonyms for retentive on Thesaurus.com
  1. tending or serving to retain something.
  2. having power or capacity to retain.
  3. having power or ability to remember; having a good memory.
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Origin of retentive

1325–75; Middle English retentif < Middle French < Medieval Latin retentīvus, equivalent to Latin retent(us) (see retention) + -īvus -ive
Related formsre·ten·tive·ly, adverbre·ten·tive·ness, nounnon·re·ten·tive, adjectivenon·re·ten·tive·ly, adverbnon·re·ten·tive·ness, nounun·re·ten·tive, adjectiveun·re·ten·tive·ly, adverbun·re·ten·tive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unretentive

Historical Examples

  • His light and unretentive mind was not one to harbor deep feeling.

    In the Roar of the Sea

    Sabine Baring-Gould

British Dictionary definitions for unretentive


  1. having the capacity to retain or remember
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Derived Formsretentively, adverbretentiveness, noun
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 unretentive



late 14c., "able to hold or keep" (mental or physical), from Old French retentif, from Medieval Latin retentivus, from past participle stem of Latin retinere (see retain). Related: Retentively; retentiveness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper