Simple Definition of retinue
: a group of helpers, supporters, or followers
Full Definition of retinue
: a group of retainers or attendants
Examples of retinue in a sentence
the king and his retinue
a pop star traveling with his retinue
Did You Know?
Retinue derives via Middle English from the Anglo-French verb retenir, meaning "to retain." Another word deriving from retenir is retainer, which means, among other things, "one who serves a person of high position or rank." In the 14th century, that high person of rank was usually a noble or a royal of some kind, and retinue referred to that person's collection of servants and companions. Nowadays, the word is often used with a bit of exaggeration to refer to the assistants, guards, publicists, and other people who accompany an actor or other high-profile individual in public. You might also hear such a collection called a "suite" or "entourage," two other words derived from French.
Origin and Etymology of retinue
Middle English retenue, from Anglo-French, from feminine of retenu, past participle of retenir to retain
First Known Use: 14th century
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