mid-14c., "to come back," from O.Fr. retorner
"turn back, return," from re-
"back" + torner
"to turn" (see turn
). Transitive sense is attested from early 15c. The noun is first attested late 14c., "act of coming back;" in the tennis sense, it is from 1886. Meaning "official report of election results" is attested from mid-15c. Meaning "a yield, a profit" is recorded from 1620s. Many happy returns of the day
was used by Addison, 1716.