retainer

1 of 2

noun (1)

re·​tain·​er ri-ˈtā-nər How to pronounce retainer (audio)
1
a
: a person attached or owing service to a household
especially : servant
b
2
: one that retains
3
: a device or structure that holds something in place: such as
a
: the part of a dental replacement (such as a bridge) by which it is made fast to adjacent natural teeth
b
: a dental appliance used to hold teeth in correct position especially following orthodontic treatment

retainer

2 of 2

noun (2)

1
: the act of a client by which the services of a lawyer, counselor, or adviser are engaged
2
: a fee paid to a lawyer or professional adviser for advice or services or for a claim on services when needed

Examples of retainer in a Sentence

Noun (1) knights being dressed for battle by their retainers lifelong civil service retainers
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
But a retainer is still a samurai—the term refers to a vassal in feudal Japan, usually a samurai offering military services. Chantelle Lee, TIME, 16 May 2024 Each time, he was asked if the description on the invoice — denoting a retainer for that month — was accurate. Graham Kates, CBS News, 14 May 2024 Although the exact nature of Suarez’s statement to the SEC is unknown, the agency’s probe generally focuses on the mayor’s contract with the developer, the nature of his work and his compensation beyond the retainer. Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, 6 May 2024 Prosecutors said that payments to Ms. Cuellar’s shell companies, in the form of retainers worth $30,000 to $60,000, slowed after the public disclosure of the Baku trip in 2015. Luke Broadwater, New York Times, 3 May 2024 There were 219 inmates with an immigration retainer in late March, Hoy said. Cody Copeland, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 3 May 2024 But Cohen has testified there was no retainer and Trump directed the payments to women. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2024 Specifically, it is alleged that Donald Trump made or concerned false business records to hide the true nature of payments to Michael Cohen, by characterizing them as payment for legal services rendered pursuant to a retainer agreement. Aaron Katersky, ABC News, 8 Apr. 2024 Security cameras have picked up images of rats prancing on retainer walls, neighbors say. Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'retainer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (2)

Middle English reteigner, literally, retention, from Anglo-French, from reteigner, verb

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1508, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1767, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of retainer was in 1508

Dictionary Entries Near retainer

Cite this Entry

“Retainer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retainer. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

retainer

1 of 2 noun
re·​tain·​er ri-ˈtā-nər How to pronounce retainer (audio)
: a fee paid (as to a lawyer) for advice or services or for a claim upon services in case of need

retainer

2 of 2 noun
1
: a servant or follower in a wealthy household
2
: one that retains
3
: a usually removable dental device used to hold teeth in correct position especially following orthodontic treatment (as with braces)

called also bite plate

Medical Definition

retainer

noun
re·​tain·​er ri-ˈtān-ər How to pronounce retainer (audio)
1
: the part of a dental replacement (as a bridge) by which it is made fast to adjacent natural teeth
2
: a dental appliance used to hold teeth in their correct position especially following orthodontic treatment

Legal Definition

retainer

noun
re·​tain·​er ri-ˈtā-nər How to pronounce retainer (audio)
1
: the act of a client by which the services of a lawyer are engaged
2
: a fee paid to a lawyer for advice or services or for a claim on services when needed
Etymology

Noun

Anglo-French retener act of engaging or employing, from retener, retenir to engage, retain

More from Merriam-Webster on retainer

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