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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
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Historical Examples
  • He, his retinue, and effects, are exempt from civil and criminal jurisdiction.

    International Law George Grafton Wilson and George Fox Tucker
  • My brother was servile; he has attached himself to the retinue of a wealthy Baroness.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • They are generally two hundred in number, each of whom has his palace or inn, which he occupies, with his retinue.

  • The intervention of the retinue of Roderic was scarcely admitted.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • A house was likewise provided, capable of lodging him and his retinue with convenience.

  • I have fled from myself; I have fled from the magnificence of my retinue, to find variety.

    Imogen William Godwin
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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