Definition of "retain" []

  • To maintain possession of. See Synonyms at keep. (verb-transitive)
  • To keep or hold in a particular place, condition, or position. (verb-transitive)
  • To keep in mind; remember. (verb-transitive)
  • To hire (an attorney, for example) by the payment of a fee. (verb-transitive)
  • To keep in one's service or pay. (verb-transitive)
  • To keep in one's possession (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To be able to hold or contain (verb)
  • (of a person) to be able to remember (information, facts, etc) without difficulty (verb)
  • To hold in position (verb)
  • To keep for one's future use, as by paying a retainer or nominal charge (verb)
  • To engage the services of (a barrister) by payment of a preliminary fee (verb)
  • (in selling races) to buy back a winner that one owns when it is auctioned after the race (verb)
  • (of a racehorse trainer) to pay an advance fee to (a jockey) so as to have prior or exclusive claims upon his or her services throughout the season (verb) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "retain" in a sentence
  • "But when half the drivers on the road are "car thieves," does the term retain its meaning?"
  • "I read over 100 books a year, and what I retain is usually the general storyline and my impression of the characters."
  • "While Ariel worked on the page designs, we talked about the content – what to retain from the old site, what to add and what to discard."