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Definitions of retain

  1. To continue to hold; to keep in possession; not to lose, part with, or dismiss; to retrain from departure, escape, or the like. Webster Dictionary DB
  2. To restrain; to prevent. Webster Dictionary DB
  3. To hold or keep in possession; engage by a fee prepaid; as, to retain a lawyer; keep in mind. The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919.
  4. To keep in possession: to detain: to employ by a fee paid. The american dictionary of the english language. By Daniel Lyons. Published 1899.
  5. To keep in possession or in service. The Clarendon dictionary. By William Hand Browne, Samuel Stehman Haldeman. Published 1894.
  6. To hold; keep. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  7. To engage beforehand, as a lawyer, by a fee. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  8. To belong; to pertain. Webster Dictionary DB
  9. allow to remain in a place or position; "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" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  10. hold on to Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  11. hold within; "This soil retains water"; "I retain this drug for a long time" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  12. keep in one's mind; "I cannot retain so much information" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  13. To hold or keep in possession; to detain; to keep back; to keep in pay; to engage by a fee paid. Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914.
  14. To hold or keep in possession; to keep; to keep back; to hold from escape; to keep in pay; to employ by a fee paid. Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.
  15. Retainable. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.

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Usage examples for retain

  1. Ethelberta gave it a subtle movement backwards to imply that he was not to retain the prize, and said, 'One whose inner life is almost unknown to you, and whom you have scarcely seen except at other people's houses! – The Hand of Ethelberta by Thomas Hardy
  2. This, when made red hot, bored slowly through the timbers; and the better to retain the heat, Jack shut up one end of it and filled it with sand. – The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne
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