vb mainly intr
1 (Military) to withdraw or retire in the face of or from action with an enemy, either due to defeat or in order to adopt a more favourable position
2 to retire or withdraw, as to seclusion or shelter
3 (of a person's features) to slope back; recede
4 tr (Chess) to move (a piece) back
5 the act of retreating or withdrawing
a a withdrawal or retirement in the face of the enemy
b a bugle call signifying withdrawal or retirement, esp. (formerly) to within a defended fortification
7 retirement or seclusion
8 a place, such as a sanatorium or monastery, to which one may retire for refuge, quiet, etc.
9 a period of seclusion, esp. for religious contemplation
10 an institution, esp. a private one, for the care and treatment of the mentally ill, infirm, elderly, etc.
(C14: from Old French retret, from retraire to withdraw, from Latin retrahere to pull back; see retract)
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus
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