What does retreat mean?

Definitions for retreat

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word retreat.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. retreat(noun)

    (military) withdrawal of troops to a more favorable position to escape the enemy's superior forces or after a defeat

    "the disorderly retreat of French troops"

  2. retreat(noun)

    a place of privacy; a place affording peace and quiet

  3. retreat(noun)

    (military) a signal to begin a withdrawal from a dangerous position

  4. retreat(noun)

    (military) a bugle call signaling the lowering of the flag at sunset

  5. hideaway, retreat(noun)

    an area where you can be alone

  6. retirement, retreat(noun)

    withdrawal for prayer and study and meditation

    "the religious retreat is a form of vacation activity"

  7. retreat(verb)

    the act of withdrawing or going backward (especially to escape something hazardous or unpleasant)

  8. withdraw, retreat, pull away, draw back, recede, pull back, retire, move back(verb)

    pull back or move away or backward

    "The enemy withdrew"; "The limo pulled away from the curb"

  9. retreat(verb)

    move away, as for privacy

    "The Pope retreats to Castelgondolfo every summer"

  10. retrograde, retreat(verb)

    move back

    "The glacier retrogrades"

  11. retreat, pull back, back out, back away, crawfish, crawfish out, pull in one's horns, withdraw(verb)

    make a retreat from an earlier commitment or activity

    "We'll have to crawfish out from meeting with him"; "He backed out of his earlier promise"; "The aggressive investment company pulled in its horns"


  1. retreat(Noun)

    The act of pulling back or withdrawing, as from something dangerous, or unpleasant.

  2. retreat(Noun)

    The act of reversing direction and receding from a forward position.

  3. retreat(Noun)

    A peaceful, quiet place affording privacy, or security.

  4. retreat(Noun)

    A period of retirement, seclusion, or solitude.

  5. retreat(Noun)

    A period of meditation, prayer or study

  6. retreat(Noun)

    Withdrawal by military force from a dangerous position or from enemy attack.

  7. retreat(Noun)

    A signal for a military withdrawal.

  8. retreat(Noun)

    A bugle call or drumbeat signaling the lowering of the flag at sunset, as on a military base.

  9. retreat(Noun)

    A military ceremony to lower the flag.

  10. retreat(Verb)

    To withdraw military forces.

  11. retreat(Noun)

    Move (a piece) from threatetned position.

  12. Origin: From Middle English retret, from Old French retrait or retret (to draw back), from Latin retrahere (retract).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Retreat(noun)

    the act of retiring or withdrawing one's self, especially from what is dangerous or disagreeable

  2. Retreat(noun)

    the place to which anyone retires; a place or privacy or safety; a refuge; an asylum

  3. Retreat(noun)

    the retiring of an army or body of men from the face of an enemy, or from any ground occupied to a greater distance from the enemy, or from an advanced position

  4. Retreat(noun)

    the withdrawing of a ship or fleet from an enemy for the purpose of avoiding an engagement or escaping after defeat

  5. Retreat(noun)

    a signal given in the army or navy, by the beat of a drum or the sounding of trumpet or bugle, at sunset (when the roll is called), or for retiring from action

  6. Retreat(noun)

    a special season of solitude and silence to engage in religious exercises

  7. Retreat(noun)

    a period of several days of withdrawal from society to a religious house for exclusive occupation in the duties of devotion; as, to appoint or observe a retreat

  8. Retreat(verb)

    to make a retreat; to retire from any position or place; to withdraw; as, the defeated army retreated from the field


  1. Retreat

    The meaning of a spiritual retreat can be different for different religious communities. Spiritual Retreats are an integral part of many Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Sufi communities. In Hinduism and Buddhism, Meditative Retreats are seen by some as integral for reconnection to one's self. Retreats are also popular in Christian churches, and were established in today's form by St. Ignatius of Loyola, in his Spiritual Exercises. Ignatius was later to be made patron saint of spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922. Many Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians partake in and organize spiritual retreats each year. Meditative retreats are an important practice in Sufism, the mystical path of Islam. The Sufi teacher Ibn Arabi's book Journey to the Lord of Power is a guide to the inner journey that was published over 700 years ago.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Retreat

    rē-trēt′, n. a drawing back or retracing one's steps: retirement: place of privacy: withdrawal: a place of security: a shelter: (mil.) the act of retiring in order from before the enemy, or from an advanced position: the signal for retiring from an engagement or to quarters: a special season of religious meditation.—v.i. to draw back: to recede: to consider: to retire, esp. to a place of shelter: to retire before an enemy or from an advanced position: in fencing, to move back so as to avoid the point of the adversary's sword: to slope back, as a retreating forehead.—ns. Retreat′er; Retreat′ment. [O. Fr. retrete—L. retractus, pa.p. of retrahĕre.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. retreat

    The order in which a fleet or squadron declines engagement. Or the retrograde movement of any body of men who retire from a hostile force. Also, that beat of drum about sunset which orders the guards and piquets to take up their night duties.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. retreat

    The retrograde movement of any army or body of men who retire from the enemy. It signifies a more prolonged and systematic movement to the rear than retire. Full retreat is when an army retires with all expedition before a conquering enemy. The retreat is also a beat of the infantry drums, or sounding of the bugles or trumpets, which takes place every day at sunset, and at which troops fall in and the roll is called; the details for duty the following day, and orders, are published. To retreat is to make a retrograde movement. An army or body of men are said to retreat when they turn their backs upon the enemy, or are retiring from the ground they occupied; hence, every march in withdrawing from an enemy is called a retreat.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'retreat' in Nouns Frequency: #2883

Anagrams for retreat »

  1. tree rat

  2. treater

How to pronounce retreat?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say retreat in sign language?

  1. retreat


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of retreat in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of retreat in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of retreat in a Sentence

  1. Joseph Stalin:

    Die, but do not retreat.

  2. Susan Klein:

    They can shoot first and retreat later.

  3. Penn Township constable Clark Steele:

    I knew I was dying. There was no way to retreat.

  4. John Trevena:

    He had the right to stand his ground and no duty to retreat.

  5. Joseph Stalin:

    In the Soviet army it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.

Images & Illustrations of retreat

  1. retreatretreatretreatretreatretreat

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for retreat

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"retreat." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 6 Dec. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/retreat>.

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