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retrench

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verb re·trench \ri-ˈtrench\

Simple Definition of retrench

  • : to change the way things are done in order to spend less money

Full Definition of retrench

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  cut down, reduce b :  to cut out :  excise

  3. 2 :  to pare away :  remove

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to make retrenchments; specifically :  economize

Examples of retrench

  1. When the economy slowed, the company was forced to retrench.



Origin of retrench

obsolete French retrencher (now retrancher), from Middle French retrenchier, from re- + trenchier to cut


First Known Use: 1596

Synonym Discussion of retrench

shorten, curtail, abbreviate, abridge, retrench mean to reduce in extent. shorten implies reduction in length or duration <shorten a speech>. curtail adds an implication of cutting that in some way deprives of completeness or adequacy <ceremonies curtailed because of rain>. abbreviate implies a making shorter usually by omitting some part <using an abbreviated title>. abridge implies a reduction in compass or scope with retention of essential elements and a relative completeness in the result <the abridged version of the novel>. retrench suggests a reduction in extent or costs of something felt to be excessive <declining business forced the company to retrench>.

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