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the forced or strategic withdrawal of an army or an armed force before an enemy, or the withdrawing of a naval force from action.
the act of withdrawing, as into safety or privacy; retirement; seclusion.
a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy: The library was his retreat.
an asylum, as for the insane.
a retirement or a period of retirement for religious exercises and meditation.
a flag-lowering ceremony held at sunset on a military post.
the bugle call or drumbeat played at this ceremony.
the recession of a surface, as a wall or panel, from another surface beside it.
verb (used without object)
to withdraw, retire, or draw back, especially for shelter or seclusion.
to make a retreat: The army retreated.
to slope backward; recede: a retreating chin.
to draw or lead back.
beat a retreat, to withdraw or retreat, especially hurriedly or in disgrace.

1300–50; (noun) Middle English retret < Old French, variant of retrait, noun use of past participle of retraire to draw back < Latin retrahere (re- re- + trahere to draw; see retract1); (v.) late Middle English retreten < Middle French retraitier < Latin retractāre to retract2

retreatal, adjective
retreater, noun
retreative, adjective

re-treat, retreat.

2. departure, withdrawal. 3. shelter. 8. leave, pull back. See depart.

1, 8, 9. advance.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
retreat (rɪˈtriːt)
1.  military to withdraw or retire in the face of or from action with an enemy, either due to defeat or in order to adopt a more favourable position
2.  to retire or withdraw, as to seclusion or shelter
3.  (of a person's features) to slope back; recede
4.  (tr) chess to move (a piece) back
5.  the act of retreating or withdrawing
6.  military
 a.  a withdrawal or retirement in the face of the enemy
 b.  a bugle call signifying withdrawal or retirement, esp (formerly) to within a defended fortification
7.  retirement or seclusion
8.  a place, such as a sanatorium or monastery, to which one may retire for refuge, quiet, etc
9.  a period of seclusion, esp for religious contemplation
10.  an institution, esp a private one, for the care and treatment of people who are mentally ill, infirm, elderly, etc
[C14: from Old French retret, from retraire to withdraw, from Latin retrahere to pull back; see retract]

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

c.1300, from O.Fr. retret, noun use of pp. of retrere "draw back," from L. retrahere "draw back," from re- "back" + trahere "to draw" (see tract (1)). Meaning "place of seclusion" is from 1423; sense of "establishment for mentally ill persons" is from 1797. The verb is first attested 1422.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The sea ice still freezes in winter, but it's retreating dramatically in the
Retreating back to current traditionalism is not the answer.
The director's masterpiece plays to near-empty theaters, ultimately retreating
  to the art-house circuit as a cult oddity.
It was on the retreating curve of this ridge that the wretched priest was
  exhausting his efforts.
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