re·​tire | \ ri-ˈtī(-ə)r \
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

After David retired, Darlene continued the tradition with The View cast. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Watch Darlene Love's Breathtaking Performance of "Christmas" on 'The View'," 13 Dec. 2018 In June, Greg Orton, a climbing guidebook author and retired soil scientist, completed a draft scientific literature review and management guide for peregrines. Ula Chrobak, Outside Online, "We're Overprotecting Birds at the Expense of Climbers," 12 July 2018 This week, political pundits were divided over Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "It's the Constitution, not Brett Kavanaugh liberals don't like, conservatives say," 11 July 2018 In Enrique's first transfer window, out went first team mainstays Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez, along with Victor Valdes and the retiring Carles Puyol., "How Luis Enrique Must Force Quick Transition to Stop Spain Returning to the Mediocre Years," 10 July 2018 Now retired, Earnhardt finished his racing career in 2017 as the 15-time most popular driver with an astonishing nearly 68 percent of the fan vote. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "The biggest turning point in Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Letarte's relationship," 10 July 2018 Meghan Trainor can officially retire her hit Dear Future Husband—because she's officially married. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Meghan Trainor Is Married," 23 Dec. 2018 Blue Origin retired its last New Shepard in 2016, after launching and landing it five times. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How to watch four rocket launches on a banner day for the space industry," 18 Dec. 2018 Her husband, Prince Philip, 97, has retired from public life and was not there. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Trumps meet Queen Elizabeth II, treated to royal pomp, pageantry and tea," 13 July 2018

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

11 Jan 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 \
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

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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