re·​ten·​tive | \ ri-ˈten-tiv How to pronounce retentive (audio) \

Definition of retentive

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

Other Words from retentive

retentively adverb
retentiveness noun

Examples of retentive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Industrial facilities are designed using environmentally conscientious materials including white roof decks, LED lighting and water-retentive landscaping techniques. David Welch, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 As well as attracting a significant number of new Discovery+ subscribers, sports broadens its appeal throughout the whole household and provides consumers an even greater, more retentive value proposition. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Feb. 2022 Energy firms tend to be slow to acquire as customers, but these energy targets are highly retentive once onboarded as customers. John Tough, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 The cornerstone of a retentive company culture is social agility. Mark C. Perna, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 They're known for great listening—and they are retentive with a good memory. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, 22 Oct. 2021 Jane was an anal retentive young mom whose professional dream was to become a bestselling novelist. Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2021 The history pages are good, because there are hordes of anal-retentive history enthusiasts who hover over them, correcting errors, footnoting controversies and so on. Star Tribune, 2 May 2021 The removable bottom allows for easy cleaning and the spill-proof, heat-retentive lid keeps fresh coffee hot. Laura Denby, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

21 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Retentive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for retentive


re·​ten·​tive | \ ri-ˈten-tiv How to pronounce retentive (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on retentive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retentive

Nglish: Translation of retentive for Spanish Speakers


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