retention

noun re·ten·tion \ ri-ˈten(t)-shən \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of retention

1 a : the act of retaining : the state of being retained
b : abnormal retaining of a fluid or secretion in a body cavity
2 a : power of retaining : retentiveness
b : an ability to retain things in mind; specifically : a preservation of the aftereffects of experience and learning that makes recall or recognition possible
3 : something retained

Examples of retention in a Sentence

  1. the recruitment and retention of good employees

  2. the retention of profits from all sales

  3. pills to offset water retention

  4. the retention of things learned in school

  5. They say the herb promotes memory retention.

Recent Examples of retention from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'retention.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of retention

Middle English retencioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin retention-, retentio, from retinēre to retain — more at retain


RETENTION Defined for English Language Learners

retention

noun

Definition of retention for English Language Learners

  • : the act of keeping someone or something

  • : the act of keeping extra liquid, heat, etc., inside the body

  • : the ability to keep something


RETENTION Defined for Kids

retention

noun re·ten·tion \ ri-ˈten-shən \

Definition of retention for Students

1 : the act of continuing to possess, control, or hold
  • moisture retention
2 : the power or ability to keep or hold something
  • memory retention

Medical Dictionary

retention

noun re·ten·tion \ ri-ˈten-chən \

medical Definition of retention

1 : the act of retaining: as
a : abnormal retaining of a fluid or secretion in a body cavity
  • retention of urine
  • retention of bile
b : the holding in place of a tooth or dental replacement by means of a retainer
2 : a preservation of the aftereffects of experience and learning that makes recall or recognition possible

Law Dictionary

retention

noun re·ten·tion \ ri-ˈten-chən \

legal Definition of retention

1 : the act of retaining or the state of being retained
2 : the portion of the insurance on a particular risk not reinsured or ceded by the originating insurer


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up retention? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to remove or wipe out

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!