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retain

[ri-teyn] /rɪˈteɪn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to keep possession of.
2.
to continue to use, practice, etc.:
to retain an old custom.
3.
to continue to hold or have:
to retain a prisoner in custody; a cloth that retains its color.
4.
to keep in mind; remember.
5.
to hold in place or position.
6.
to engage, especially by payment of a preliminary fee:
to retain a lawyer.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English reteinen < Old French retenir < Latin retinēre to hold back, hold fast, equivalent to re- re- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold
Related forms
retainable, adjective
retainability, retainableness, noun
retainment, noun
nonretainable, adjective
nonretainment, noun
unretainable, adjective
unretained, adjective
unretaining, adjective
Synonyms
1. hold, preserve. See keep.
Antonyms
1. loose, lose. 4. forget.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for retain
  • It was no longer possible for the governing faction to retain their hold on power without regular resort to violence.
  • Enclose the container in a plastic bag to retain humidity.
  • Adding a few inches of mulch will help retain moisture.
  • If placed too closely, mulch can retain moisture and cause plants and trees to rot.
  • Enjoy your wreath while the herbs retain their savor and color.
  • Overnight in refrigerator, to protect flavor and retain juices.
  • We're losing our ability to read a book, retain information, follow a line of argument and make critical judgments.
  • When manufactured, raw polystyrene is heated, rolled out into thin sheets and then rapidly cooled so that it can retain its shape.
  • Thus, people who own land along the ditches still retain rights to their water until they sell those rights.
  • Today, it's clear that feathers perform many functions: they help birds retain body heat, repel water and attract a mate.
British Dictionary definitions for retain

retain

/rɪˈteɪn/
verb (transitive)
1.
to keep in one's possession
2.
to be able to hold or contain: soil that retains water
3.
(of a person) to be able to remember (information, facts, etc) without difficulty
4.
to hold in position
5.
to keep for one's future use, as by paying a retainer or nominal charge: to retain one's rooms for the holidays
6.
(law) to engage the services of (a barrister) by payment of a preliminary fee
7.
(in selling races) to buy back a winner that one owns when it is auctioned after the race
8.
(of racehorse trainers) to pay an advance fee to (a jockey) so as to have prior or exclusive claims upon his services throughout the season
Derived Forms
retainable, adjective
retainment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French retenir, from Latin retinēre to hold back, from re- + tenēre to hold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for retain
v.

late 14c., "hold back, restrain;" c.1400, "continue keeping, keep possession of," from Old French retenir "keep, retain; take into feudal service; hold back; remember" (12c.), from Latin retinere "hold back, keep back, detain, restrain," from re- "back" (see re-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Meaning "keep (another) attached to one's person, keep in service" is from mid-15c.; specifically of lawyers from 1540s. Meaning "keep in the mind" is from c.1500. Related: Retained; retaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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