Definitions for RETAINrɪˈteɪn

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word RETAIN

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. to keep possession of.

  2. to continue to use, practice, etc.

  3. to continue to hold or have:

    a cloth that retains its color.

  4. to keep in mind; remember.

  5. to hold in place or position.

  6. to engage, esp. by payment of a preliminary fee:

    to retain a lawyer.

* Syn: See keep.

Origin of retain:

1350–1400; ME reteinen < OF retenir蠐 L retinēre to hold back, hold fast =re-re - +-tinēre, comb. form of tenēre to hold


Princeton's WordNet

  1. retain(verb)

    hold back within

    "This soil retains water"; "I retain this drug for a long time"; "the dam retains the water"

  2. retain, continue, keep, keep on(verb)

    allow to remain in a place or position or maintain a property or feature

    "We cannot continue several servants any longer"; "She retains a lawyer"; "The family's fortune waned and they could not keep their household staff"; "Our grant has run out and we cannot keep you on"; "We kept the work going as long as we could"; "She retained her composure"; "this garment retains its shape even after many washings"

  3. retain, hold, keep back, hold back(verb)

    secure and keep for possible future use or application

    "The landlord retained the security deposit"; "I reserve the right to disagree"

  4. retain(verb)

    keep in one's mind

    "I cannot retain so much information"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. retain(verb)ɪˈteɪn

    to not allow to leave or be taken away

    good pay and health insurance to help us retain staff; her fight to retain the right to residency

  2. retainɪˈteɪn

    to remember

    He now finds it difficult to retain even basic information.


  1. retain(Verb)

    To keep in possession or use.

  2. retain(Verb)

    To keep in one's pay or service.

  3. retain(Verb)

    To employ by paying a retainer.

  4. retain(Verb)

    To hold secure.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Retain(verb)

    to continue to hold; to keep in possession; not to lose, part with, or dismiss; to retrain from departure, escape, or the like

  2. Retain(verb)

    to keep in pay; to employ by a preliminary fee paid; to hire; to engage; as, to retain a counselor

  3. Retain(verb)

    to restrain; to prevent

  4. Retain(verb)

    to belong; to pertain

  5. Retain(verb)

    to keep; to continue; to remain



    RETAIN is a mainframe based database system, accessed via IBM 3270 terminals, used internally within IBM providing service support to IBM field personnel and customers. The acronym RETAIN stands for REmote Technical Assistance Information Network.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'RETAIN' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3773

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'RETAIN' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4493

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'RETAIN' in Verbs Frequency: #317

Anagrams of RETAIN

  1. tin ear

  2. retina

Translations for RETAIN

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to continue to have, use, remember etc; to keep in one's possession, memory etc

He finds it difficult to retain information; These dishes don't retain heat very well.

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