retentive

adjective
re·​ten·​tive | \ri-ˈten-tiv \

Definition of retentive 

: having the power, property, or capacity of retaining soils retentive of moisture especially : retaining knowledge easily a retentive memory

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from retentive

retentively adverb
retentiveness noun

Examples of retentive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Many of the large-flowering varieties do well in large containers, just be sure to use a moisture retentive soil mix and/or a self-watering container, and provide a secure trellis. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Clematis," 17 Mar. 2017 The draft and all its component parts represent the NFL at its anal-retentive best. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty: Run-up to NFL Draft is about who can lie the best," 23 Apr. 2018 Anal retentive huns popping out all over the place. Ashley Iasimone, Billboard, "Taylor Swift's 'Look What You Made Me Do' Video Tops Adele's Vevo Record," 28 Aug. 2017 If humans could be similarly modified, our corresponding brains might become extraordinarily retentive. Brendan I. Koerner, WIRED, "The Super Power Issue8 Super Powers," 1 Aug. 2003 O’Brien’s librarian is a heartbroken, anal-retentive loner who has a catharsis when someone returns a book that’s 123 years overdue. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "One last dispatch from the Fringe: 8 shows close annual festival," 4 July 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of retentive

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for retentive

Middle English retentif, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin retentivus, from Latin retentus, past participle of retinēre

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about retentive

Dictionary Entries near retentive

retent

retention

retentionist

retentive

retentivity

retentor

retenue

Statistics for retentive

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for retentive

The first known use of retentive was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for retentive

retentive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of retentive

: having the ability to remember things easily or for a long time

retentive

adjective
re·​ten·​tive | \ri-ˈten-tiv \

Medical Definition of retentive 

: tending to retain: as

a : retaining knowledge : having a good memory a retentive mind

b : of, relating to, or being a dental retainer

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on retentive

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

WORD OF THE DAY

obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!