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[ret-n-oo, -yoo] /ˈrɛt nˌu, -ˌyu/
a body of retainers in attendance upon an important personage; suite.
Origin of retinue
1325-75; Middle English retinue < Middle French, noun use of feminine past participle of retenir to retain
Related forms
retinued, adjective
unretinued, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for retinue
  • The king is made two or three times as large as his retinue or the vanquished enemy.
  • During the same period they have quadrupled their retinue of clerks.
  • In rooms reserved for the king and his retinue, the walls are covered with less intimidating figures.
  • The colonel and his retinue entered the hotel, climbed to the roof and seized the banner.
  • Preceding his retinue, the king entered the capital on horse.
  • Added to this was conflict between the central government and its retinue and lower-ranking chiefs.
  • Soon she has a large retinue of lusting males who follow her wherever she goes.
British Dictionary definitions for retinue


a body of aides and retainers attending an important person, royalty, etc
Derived Forms
retinued, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French retenue, from retenir to retain
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 retinue

late 14c., from Old French retenue "group of followers, state of service," literally "that which is retained," noun use of fem. past participle of retenir "to employ, to retain, hold back" (see retain). Related: Retinular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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