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[ri-tree-vuh l] /rɪˈtri vəl/
the act of retrieving.
the chance of recovery or restoration:
lost beyond retrieval.
Origin of retrieval
1635-45; retrieve + -al2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for retrieval
  • The other video investigates how the mechanized book-retrieval system in the university's newly constructed library works.
  • But he knew retrieval would be dangerous, and he struggled with the decision.
  • As he explained it, the actual retrieval process would be woefully slow and probably inaccurate.
  • Moreover, holographic techniques permit the retrieval of data at speeds not possible with current storage methods.
  • With its onset access to efficiently organised and stored information and easy retrieval has become elegantly simple.
  • Moreover, the act of retrieval can destabilize the memory.
  • Such paltry power of retrieval in an educated, and supposedly attentive, group is not surprising.
  • Holographic memory stores data in three dimensions instead of two and could make data retrieval hundreds of times faster.
  • retrieval of a vehicle would be similarly automatic.
  • But the hippocampus is involved in both the storage as well as the retrieval of memory.
British Dictionary definitions for retrieval


the act or process of retrieving
the possibility of recovery, restoration, or rectification (esp in the phrase beyond retrieval)
a computer filing operation that recalls records or other data from a file
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 retrieval

1640s, from retrieve + -al (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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retrieval in Medicine

retrieval re·triev·al (rĭ-trē'vəl)
The third stage in the memory process, after encoding and storage, involving mental processes associated with bringing stored information back into consciousness.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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