verb (used with object)
to cut down, reduce, or diminish; curtail (expenses).
to cut off or remove.
Military. to protect by a retrenchment.
verb (used without object)
to economize; reduce expenses: They retrenched by eliminating half of the workers.

1600–10; < French retrencher (obsolete variant of retrancher), Middle French retrenchier, equivalent to re- re- + trenchier to trench

retrenchable, adjective
retrencher, noun
unretrenchable, adjective
unretrenched, adjective

1. decrease, abridge, cut. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
retrench (rɪˈtrɛntʃ)
1.  to reduce or curtail (costs); economize
2.  (tr) to shorten, delete, or abridge
3.  (tr) to protect by a retrenchment
[C17: from Old French retrenchier, from re- + trenchier to cut, from Latin truncāre to lop; see trench]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1598, "dig a new trench as a second line of defense," from Fr. retrencher "to cut off," from re- "back" + O.Fr. trenchier "to cut." Sense of "cut down, reduce (expenses, etc.)" is from 1625.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Proponents of these measures fear that businesses will retrench as prices fall
  and their debts rise, creating a vicious circle.
Wal-Mart, though, is looking to expand overseas while the others retrench.
If rates go too high, consumers might retrench abruptly, which would cause a
  sharp economic slowdown.
The company continued to retrench and disappoint investors.
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