re·​tire | \ ri-ˈtī(-ə)r How to pronounce retire (audio) \
retired; retiring

Definition of retire

intransitive verb

1 : to withdraw from action or danger : retreat
2 : to withdraw especially for privacy retired to her room
3 : to move back : recede
4 : to withdraw from one's position or occupation : conclude one's working or professional career
5 : to go to bed

transitive verb

1 : withdraw: such as
a : to march (a military force) away from the enemy
b : to withdraw from circulation or from the market : recall retire a bond
c : to withdraw from usual use or service
2 : to cause to retire from one's position or occupation
3a : to put out (a batter) in baseball
b : to cause (a side) to end a turn at bat in baseball
4 : to win permanent possession of (something, such as a trophy)
5 : to pay in full : settle retire a debt

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Synonyms & Antonyms for retire


bed, crash [slang], doss (down) [chiefly British], turn in


arise, get up, rise, uprise

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Examples of retire in a Sentence

I want to be healthy when I retire. She had to retire during the first set because of a muscle strain. The Navy is retiring the old battleship. The manufacturer plans to retire that car model in a few years. The team is retiring his jersey number in honor of his great career.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Many tutors are retired teachers and stay-at-home moms. Yan Zhang, USA TODAY, "Chinese parents are paying for their kids to learn English from US online tutors. Here's how the job works," 11 June 2019 There were only two big names missing; Prince Philip, due to being officially retired from royal engagements, and his great grandson, Baby Sussex, Archie Harrison. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Here's When We're Likely to Next See Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Son, Archie Harrison," 10 June 2019 The previous superintendent left to take another job near Dayton and retired last year. Keith Bierygolick,, "'Pick up my book, slave': The hostile environment for black students at an Ohio school district," 10 June 2019 Whalen’s high school and college jerseys were retired long ago. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Jersey retirements honor Lindsay Whalen the player, and the person," 8 June 2019 Artemesia Sangster, another Big Momma's regular, said she's retired and feels no need to cook anymore. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Sunday dinners at Louisville's black-owned restaurants 'keep that culture going'," 7 June 2019 April's now the proud mama of five giraffe babies and will be retired from her zoo's propagation program. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Teenage heroes, a legendary granddad and everyone's favorite giraffe," 7 June 2019 Despite being officially retired from his former career, Holes is now busier than ever — and his desire to solve crimes hasn’t stopped. Christine Pelisek,, "Investigator Helped Catch the Golden State Killer — and He's Still Solving Crimes," 7 June 2019 Though she's retired from the days of walking on Alaïa's runway in Paris, Webb remains tapped into the fashion industry. Channing Hargrove,, "Exclusive: Veronica Webb Says Fashion Has "A Way To Go" When It Comes To Age Diversity," 6 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of retire

1533, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for retire

Middle French retirer, from re- + tirer to draw

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Dictionary Entries near retire






retired list


Statistics for retire

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for retire

The first known use of retire was in 1533

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More Definitions for retire



English Language Learners Definition of retire

: to stop a job or career because you have reached the age when you are not allowed to work anymore or do not need or want to work anymore
: to cause (someone, such as a military officer) to end a job or career
: to stop playing in a game, competition, etc., especially because of injury


re·​tire | \ ri-ˈtīr How to pronounce retire (audio) \
retired; retiring

Kids Definition of retire

1 : to give up a job permanently : quit working My grandfather retired at 65 years old.
2 : to go away especially to be alone I retired to my room.
3 : to go to bed I'm retiring for the night.
4 : to withdraw from use or service The navy retired an old ship.
5 : to get away from action or danger : retreat The army retired from the battlefield.

Other Words from retire

retirement \ -​mənt \ noun


retired; retiring

Legal Definition of retire

intransitive verb

: to withdraw from an action the jury retired for deliberations

transitive verb

: to withdraw from circulation or from the market retire a loan retire stock

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More from Merriam-Webster on retire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with retire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retire

Spanish Central: Translation of retire

Nglish: Translation of retire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of retire for Arabic Speakers

Comments on retire

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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