follow Dictionary.com

8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for retains
  • If it turns out to be scientifically important, the center will register it, and the fossil's finder retains ownership.
  • Nonetheless, it retains a grip on our imaginations and emotions quite unlike any other ancient site.
  • So money guides the process and outcomes are what retains and fires coaches.
  • She retains her belief in the importance of scientific inquiry.
  • Alloy retains the intellectual-property rights to all the work, but writers share in the revenue generated from the rights.
  • The movie retains the novel's exuberance, but turns much darker in tone.
  • At the age of eighty-four, he retains an unfaltering command of rhythm and an uncanny sensitivity to orchestral balances.
  • Still, he retains a healthy respect for property, and his prescriptions take account of copyright owners' interests.
  • He retains facts and skills, but can't remember actually doing anything or being anywhere.
  • Its plastid retains a distinct cell wall but divides at the same time as the host and cannot be grown independently.
British Dictionary definitions for retains

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for retains

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for retain

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for retains

7
8
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with retains