What does return mean?

Definitions for return

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word return.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tax return, income tax return, returnnoun

    document giving the tax collector information about the taxpayer's tax liability

    "his gross income was enough that he had to file a tax return"

  2. return, homecomingnoun

    a coming to or returning home

    "on his return from Australia we gave him a welcoming party"

  3. return, coming backnoun

    the occurrence of a change in direction back in the opposite direction

  4. restitution, return, restoration, regainingnoun

    getting something back again

    "upon the restitution of the book to its rightful owner the child was given a tongue lashing"

  5. returnnoun

    the act of going back to a prior location

    "they set out on their return to the base camp"

  6. return, issue, take, takings, proceeds, yield, payoffnoun

    the income or profit arising from such transactions as the sale of land or other property

    "the average return was about 5%"

  7. recurrence, returnnoun

    happening again (especially at regular intervals)

    "the return of spring"

  8. rejoinder, retort, return, riposte, replication, comeback, counternoun

    a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)

    "it brought a sharp rejoinder from the teacher"

  9. return key, returnnoun

    the key on electric typewriters or computer keyboards that causes a carriage return and a line feed

  10. return, paying back, getting evennoun

    a reciprocal group action

    "in return we gave them as good as we got"

  11. returnnoun

    a tennis stroke that sends the ball back to the other player

    "he won the point on a cross-court return"

  12. returnnoun

    (American football) the act of running back the ball after a kickoff or punt or interception or fumble

  13. reappearance, returnverb

    the act of someone appearing again

    "his reappearance as Hamlet has been long awaited"

  14. returnverb

    go or come back to place, condition, or activity where one has been before

    "return to your native land"; "the professor returned to his teaching position after serving as Dean"

  15. render, returnverb

    give back

    "render money"

  16. revert, return, retrovert, regress, turn backverb

    go back to a previous state

    "We reverted to the old rules"

  17. hark back, return, come back, recallverb

    go back to something earlier

    "This harks back to a previous remark of his"

  18. return, take back, bring backverb

    bring back to the point of departure

  19. returnverb

    return in kind

    "return a compliment"; "return her love"

  20. returnverb

    make a return

    "return a kickback"

  21. retort, come back, repay, return, riposte, rejoinverb

    answer back

  22. come back, returnverb

    be restored

    "Her old vigor returned"

  23. refund, return, repay, give backverb

    pay back

    "Please refund me my money"

  24. render, deliver, returnverb

    pass down

    "render a verdict"; "deliver a judgment"

  25. reelect, returnverb

    elect again

  26. fall, return, pass, devolveverb

    be inherited by

    "The estate fell to my sister"; "The land returned to the family"; "The estate devolved to an heir that everybody had assumed to be dead"

  27. returnverb

    return to a previous position; in mathematics

    "The point returned to the interior of the figure"

  28. render, yield, return, give, generateverb

    give or supply

    "The cow brings in 5 liters of milk"; "This year's crop yielded 1,000 bushels of corn"; "The estate renders some revenue for the family"

  29. returnverb

    submit (a report, etc.) to someone in authority

    "submit a bill to a legislative body"


  1. returnnoun

    The act of returning.

    "I expect the house to be spotless upon my return."

  2. returnnoun

    A return ticket.

    Do you want a one-way or return?

  3. returnnoun

    An item that is returned, e.g. due to a defect.

    Last year there were 250 returns of this product, an improvement on the 500 returns the year before.

  4. returnnoun

    Gain or loss from an investment.

    It yielded a return of 5%.

  5. returnnoun

    A report of income submitted to a government for purposes of specifying exact tax payment amounts. A tax return.

    Hand in your return by the end of the tax year.

  6. returnnoun

    A carriage return character.

  7. returnnoun

    The act of relinquishing control to the calling procedure.

  8. returnnoun

    A return value: the data passed back from a called procedure.

  9. returnnoun

    A short perpendicular extension of a desk, usually slightly lower.

  10. returnverb

    To come or go back (to a place or person).

    Although the birds fly north for the summer, they return here in winter.

  11. returnverb

    To go back in thought, narration, or argument.

    To return to my story...

  12. returnverb

    To turn back, retreat.

  13. returnverb

    To turn (something) round.

  14. returnverb

    To put something back where it had been.

    Please return your hands to your lap.

  15. returnverb

    To give something back to its original holder or owner.

    You should return the library book within one month.

  16. returnverb

    To take something back to a retailer for a refund.

    If the goods don't work, you can return them.

  17. returnverb

    To bat the ball back over the net in response to a serve.

    The player couldn't return the serve because it was so fast.

  18. returnverb

    To play a card as a result of another player's lead.

    If one players plays a trump, the others must return a trump.

  19. returnnoun

    Catching a ball after a punt and running it back towards the opposing team.

  20. returnnoun

    A throw from a fielder to the wicket-keeper or to another fielder at the wicket.

  21. returnverb

    To throw a ball back to the wicket-keeper (or a fielder at that position) from somewhere in the field.

  22. returnverb

    To say in reply; to respond.

  23. returnverb

    To relinquish control to the calling procedure.

  24. returnverb

    To pass (data) back to the calling procedure.

    This function returns the number of files in the directory.

  25. Etymology: From returnen, retornen, from returner, from retourner, retorner, from retornare, from re- + tornare. Compare beturn.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Returnnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    The king of France so suddenly gone back!
    Something since his coming forth is thought of,
    That his return was now most necessary. William Shakespeare.

    When forc’d from hence to view our parts he mourns;
    Takes little journies, and makes quick returns. Dryden.

    At the return of the year, the king of Syria will come up. 1 Kings xx. 22.

    Weapons hardly fall under rule; yet even they have returns and vicissitudes; for ordnance was known in the city of the Oxidraces in India, and is what the Macedonians called thunder and lightning. Francis Bacon, Essays.

    As for any merchandize you have bought, ye shall have your return in merchandize or gold. Francis Bacon.

    As to roots accelerated in their ripening, there is the high price that those things bear, and the swiftness of their returns; for, in some grounds, a radish comes in a month, that in others will not come in two, and so make double returns. Francis Bacon.

    The fruit, from many days of recreation, is very little; but from these few hours we spend in prayer, the return is great. Jeremy Taylor, Rule of Living Holy.

    Within these two months, I do expect return
    Of thrice three times the value of this bond. William Shakespeare.

    Brokers cannot have less money by them, than one twentieth part of their yearly returns. John Locke.

    You made my liberty your late request,
    Is no return due from a grateful breast?
    I grow impatient, ’till I find some way,
    Great offices, with greater to repay. Dryden.

    Since these are some of the returns which we made to God after obtaining our successes, can we reasonably presume, that we are in the favour of God? Francis Atterbury.

    Nothing better becomes a person in a publick character, than such a publick spirit; nor is there any thing likely to procure him larger returns of esteem. Francis Atterbury.

    Returns, like these, our mistress bids us make,
    When from a foreign prince a gift her Britons take. Matthew Prior.

    Ungrateful lord!
    Would’st thou invade my life, as a return
    For proffer’d love? Nicholas Rowe.

    The other ground of God’s sole property in any thing, is the gift, or rather the return of it made by man to God. South.

    This is breaking into a constitution to serve a present expedient; the remedy of an empirick, to stifle the present pain, but with certain prospect of sudden returns. Jonathan Swift.

    Both these sides are not only returns, but parts of the front, and a stately tower in the midst of the front. Francis Bacon.

  2. To Returnverb

    Return him a trespass offering. 1 Sam. vi. 3.

    Thy Lord shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head. 1 Kings ii. 44.

    What peace can we return,
    But to our power, hostility, and hate. John Milton.

    When answer none return’d, I set me down. John Milton.

    What counsel give ye to return answer to this people. 2 Chr.

    Reject not then what offer’d means, who knows
    But God hath set before us, to return thee
    Home to thy country and his sacred house. John Milton, Agon.

    Probably one fourth part more died of the plague than are returned. John Graunt, Bills of Mortality.

    Instead of a ship, he should levy money, and return the same to the treasurer for his majesty’s use. Edward Hyde.

  3. To RETURNverb

    Etymology: retourner, Fr.

    Return, my son David, for I will do thee no harm. 1 Sam.

    Whoso rolleth a stone, it will return upon him. Prov. xxvi.

    Go, return on thy way to the wilderness. 1 Kings xix. 15.

    The waters returned from off the earth continually. Gen.

    Judgment shall return unto righteousness. Psalm xciv. 15.

    In returning and rest shall ye be saved. Isaiah xxx. 15.

    On their embattel’d ranks the waves return. John Milton.

    If they returned out of bondage, it must be into a state of freedom. John Locke.

    I am in blood
    Stept in so far, that should I wade no more,
    Returning were as tedious as go o’er. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Hezekiah sent to the king of Assyria, saying, I have offended, return from me. 2 Kings xviii. 14.

    To return to the business in hand, the use of a little insight in those parts of knowledge, is to accustom our minds to all sorts of ideas. John Locke.

    The thing of courage,
    As rouz’d with rage, with rage doth sympathize;
    And with an accent tun’d in self same key,
    Returns to chiding fortune. William Shakespeare, Troil. and Cressida.

    He said; and thus the queen of heaven return’d;
    Must I, oh Jove in bloody wars contend! Alexander Pope.

    Thou to mankind
    Be good, and friendly still, and oft return. John Milton.

    With the year
    Seasons return, but not to me returns
    Day, or the sweet approach of ev’n or morn. John Milton.

    If you are a malicious reader, you return upon me, that I affect to be thought more impartial than I am. Dryden.


  1. return

    A return, in the context of finance and investment, is the amount of monetary gain or loss made from an investment over a certain period of time. It is typically expressed as a percentage of the initial investment and can be positive (profit) or negative (loss). It is also used in business to refer to the profit that a company generates for its investors. In general terms, a return can also refer to the act of giving something back or putting it back where it belongs.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Returnverb

    to turn back; to go or come again to the same place or condition

  2. Returnverb

    to come back, or begin again, after an interval, regular or irregular; to appear again

  3. Returnverb

    to speak in answer; to reply; to respond

  4. Returnverb

    to revert; to pass back into possession

  5. Returnverb

    to go back in thought, narration, or argument

  6. Returnverb

    to bring, carry, send, or turn, back; as, to return a borrowed book, or a hired horse

  7. Returnverb

    to repay; as, to return borrowed money

  8. Returnverb

    to give in requital or recompense; to requite

  9. Returnverb

    to give back in reply; as, to return an answer; to return thanks

  10. Returnverb

    to retort; to throw back; as, to return the lie

  11. Returnverb

    to report, or bring back and make known

  12. Returnverb

    to render, as an account, usually an official account, to a superior; to report officially by a list or statement; as, to return a list of stores, of killed or wounded; to return the result of an election

  13. Returnverb

    hence, to elect according to the official report of the election officers

  14. Returnverb

    to bring or send back to a tribunal, or to an office, with a certificate of what has been done; as, to return a writ

  15. Returnverb

    to convey into official custody, or to a general depository

  16. Returnverb

    to bat (the ball) back over the net

  17. Returnverb

    to lead in response to the lead of one's partner; as, to return a trump; to return a diamond for a club

  18. Returnnoun

    the act of returning (intransitive), or coming back to the same place or condition; as, the return of one long absent; the return of health; the return of the seasons, or of an anniversary

  19. Returnnoun

    the act of returning (transitive), or sending back to the same place or condition; restitution; repayment; requital; retribution; as, the return of anything borrowed, as a book or money; a good return in tennis

  20. Returnnoun

    that which is returned

  21. Returnnoun

    a payment; a remittance; a requital

  22. Returnnoun

    an answer; as, a return to one's question

  23. Returnnoun

    an account, or formal report, of an action performed, of a duty discharged, of facts or statistics, and the like; as, election returns; a return of the amount of goods produced or sold; especially, in the plural, a set of tabulated statistics prepared for general information

  24. Returnnoun

    the profit on, or advantage received from, labor, or an investment, undertaking, adventure, etc

  25. Returnnoun

    the continuation in a different direction, most often at a right angle, of a building, face of a building, or any member, as a molding or mold; -- applied to the shorter in contradistinction to the longer; thus, a facade of sixty feet east and west has a return of twenty feet north and south

  26. Returnnoun

    the rendering back or delivery of writ, precept, or execution, to the proper officer or court

  27. Returnnoun

    the certificate of an officer stating what he has done in execution of a writ, precept, etc., indorsed on the document

  28. Returnnoun

    the sending back of a commission with the certificate of the commissioners

  29. Returnnoun

    a day in bank. See Return day, below

  30. Returnnoun

    an official account, report, or statement, rendered to the commander or other superior officer; as, the return of men fit for duty; the return of the number of the sick; the return of provisions, etc

  31. Returnnoun

    the turnings and windings of a trench or mine

  32. Etymology: [OE. returnen, retournen, F. retourner; pref. re- re- + tourner to turn. See Turn.]


  1. Return

    Return is a Norwegian rock band from Stange, Hedmark. The band started in 1980, and was in its prime in the late 1980- and early 1990-. In this period they had several singles on the Norwegian hit charts and were among the bestselling bands in the country. In 1993 the band took a break, but came back in 2001 with a collection and some gigs. In 2005 they released a new studio album, and in 2008 they released another collection which also includes a DVD with shots from a concert in Hamar in 2007. The band's musical style has gone through minimal changes through almost three decades; they've kept most of the typical 80s rock, with a substantial amount of power ballads. The band have hits in their native Norway and in other countries such as Switzerland.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Return

    rē-turn′, v.i. to come back to the same place or state: to answer: to retort: to turn back: to repeat: to revert: to recur: to reappear.—v.t. to bring or send back: to transmit: to give back: to repay: to give back in reply: to report: to give an account: to cast back: to reflect: to re-echo: to revolve: to restore: to requite: to return a call: to elect, as a member of parliament: in card-playing, to lead back in response to the lead of one's partner: in tennis, to bat the ball back over the net: in fencing, to give a thrust or cut after parrying a sword-thrust.—n. the act of going back: revolution: periodic renewal: the act of bringing or sending back: restitution: repayment: the profit on capital or labour: a reply: a report or account, esp. official: (pl.) a light-coloured and mild kind of tobacco: (law) the rendering back of a writ to the proper officer: (mil.) the return of the men fit for duty: (archit.) the continuation in a different direction of the face of a building, as a moulding.—adj. Retur′nable, legally requiring to be returned.—ns. Return′-bend, a pipe-coupling in the shape of the letter; Return′-car′go, a cargo brought back in place of merchandise previously sent out; Return′-check, a ticket for readmission; Return′-day, the day fixed when the defendant is to appear in court; Retur′ner; Retur′ning-off′icer, the officer who makes returns of writs, &c.: the presiding officer at an election.—adj. Return′less.—ns. Return′-match, a second match played by the same set of players; Return′-shock, an electric shock due to the action of induction sometimes felt after a lightning-flash; Return′-tag, a tag attached to a railway-car as evidence of its due arrival; Return′-tick′et, a ticket issued by a company for a journey and its return, usually at a reduced charge; Return′-valve, a valve which opens to allow reflux of a fluid in case of overflow. [Fr. retournerre-, back, tourner, to turn—L. tornāre, to turn.]

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Return

    A line or conductor which is supposed to carry current back to its starting point, after it has traversed a line. It may be a wire or the grounding of the ends of a line [or] may make the earth act as a return, termed ground- or earth-return. The best distinction of a return is to so term the portion of a circuit on which no apparatus is placed.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. return

    A ship on a return voyage is not generally liable; but if she sailed on the outward voyage under false papers, the liability to confiscation continues.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. return

    An official account, report, or statement, rendered to the commander or other superior; as, the return of men fit for duty; the return of the number of the sick; the return of provisions, etc. For punishment of officers making false returns, see Appendix, Articles of War, 8.

Suggested Resources

  1. return

    Song lyrics by return -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by return on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'return' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1143

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'return' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2539

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'return' in Nouns Frequency: #435

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'return' in Verbs Frequency: #100

Anagrams for return »

  1. turner

  2. Turner

How to pronounce return?

How to say return in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of return in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of return in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of return in a Sentence

  1. Mayor Charles Wax:

    Right here, on my right, is an example of one of our apartment buildings, there is not a single apartment building operating in this entire city, so all of these people who were renting these apartments are all displaced. They are somewhere. We don't know where, and we don't know when and or if they will return.

  2. David Bonsall:

    We agree that manual tracking efforts also should aim to return The Results within 24 hours, and trace people rapidly thereafter.

  3. Linda Albrecht:

    Please don't come down, the more people that return, it's just going to get in the way.

  4. Ould Cheikh Ahmed:

    The government (must) return gradually to perform its duties in infrastructure and services... it must return to Sanaa and to the big cities, that's essential.

  5. Marcus Aurelius:

    When you’ve done well and another has benefited by it, why like a fool do you look for a third thing on top— credit for the good deed or a favor in return?

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for return

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • عودة, رجع, عاد, أرجع, أعادArabic
  • ফেরত দেয়াBengali
  • distroBreton
  • restar, tornarCatalan, Valencian
  • návratnost, návrat, vrátitCzech
  • Rückkehr, Rückfahrkarte, zurückkehren, zurückkommen, zurückgebenGerman
  • επαναφορά, γυρίζω, επιστρέφωGreek
  • reiro, reveno, redoni, reveniEsperanto
  • volver, retornar, regresar, devolver, retrovenderSpanish
  • naasmaEstonian
  • بازگشت, برگشت, دوسره, برگشتی, بازگشتن, برگرداندن, بازگرداندن, برگشتنPersian
  • palautus, palautustieto, tulos, veroilmoitus, asiakaspalautus, sivupöytä, paluu, tulokset, [[edestakainen]] [[matkalippu]], raportti, rivinsiirto, menopaluulippu, ilmoittaa, palata, vastata, [[laittaa]] [[takaisin]], palauttaa, maksaa samalla mitalla, [[kääntää]] [[ympäri]]Finnish
  • retour, revenir, relancer, retourner, rendre, remettreFrench
  • fillIrish
  • dìoladhScottish Gaelic
  • volverGalician
  • תְּשׁוּאָה, הֶחֱזִיר, חָזַרHebrew
  • वापस देना, लौटनाHindi
  • վերադարձնել, վերադառնալArmenian
  • retornarInterlingua
  • retroirarIdo
  • skilaIcelandic
  • tornare, restituireItalian
  • 返却, 復帰, 帰還, 利益, 還付, 戻り値, 復路の切符, 返品, 返す, 戻る, 返球する, 戻す, 帰るJapanese
  • 돌아가다Korean
  • گه‌ڕانه‌وه‌, پله‌ی گه‌ڕانه‌وه‌, گه‌ڕاندنه‌وه‌, هاتنه‌وه‌Kurdish
  • reversio, reditus, regressus, revertersio, redhibeo, remeo, revertor, redeo, reddo, revenio, regredior, restituoLatin
  • ກັບຄືນLao
  • retour, retourneren, teruggaan, terugkeren, terugkomen, terugbrengen, teruggevenDutch
  • tornarOccitan
  • powrót, zwrot, zwracać, wracać się, zwrócić, wrócić, powracać, powrócić, wracaćPolish
  • volta, regresso, retorno, regressar, voltar, retornar, devolverPortuguese
  • chayanpuy, kutiyQuechua
  • tuornar, turner, turnarRomansh
  • revenire, reîntoarcere, înapoiere, întoarce, returna, restitui, înapoiaRomanian
  • возврат, отдача, возвращение, возврат каретки, верну́ть, возвраща́ться, возврати́ться, верну́ться, возврати́ть, возвраща́тьRussian
  • torràe, torrài, torrareSardinian
  • povratek, vrnitev, vrnitiSlovene
  • retur, återvändo, återbäring, returtangent, skatteåterbäring, returbiljett, återkomst, avkastning, vagnretur, deklaration, returvärde, självdeklaration, returnera, återlämna, reklamera, återvändaSwedish
  • لوٹاUrdu
  • ridner, rindeWalloon

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    a textile machine for weaving yarn into a textile
    • A. emanate
    • B. summon
    • C. loom
    • D. denudate

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