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



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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 The city has 18 detectives, with two expected to retire at the end of the year. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "‘It’s like war numbers’: Cleveland endures worst homicide rate in recent history in 2020," 1 Jan. 2021 The board unanimously voted to fully retire the name connected to the Confederacy by the end of the school year. Analis Bailey, USA TODAY, "'Cotton Pickers' latest battle in team mascot debate across sports," 1 Jan. 2021 And the number who applied to retire in October is also higher than in previous year. al, "Alabama’s top 10 education stories of 2020," 31 Dec. 2020 At the end of a gruelling negotiation of the $900bn stimulus that President Donald Trump belatedly signed this week, the 80-year-old Tennesseean, who will retire from the Senate in January, took to a piano in the Hart building to play carols. The Economist, "The Senate will be worse off without Lamar Alexander," 30 Dec. 2020 Legislators ordered the study, and mandated the savings target, in response to projections that more than 25% of the workforce could be eligible to retire in 2022 and 2023. Keith M. Phaneuf,, "Unions push back against Lamont’s efforts to shrink state workforce," 27 Dec. 2020 The program was introduced to keep veteran employees on the job but was later criticized as a costly form of double dipping, especially given that DROP members tend to retire with six-figure payouts or higher. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego police chief Nisleit joined the city’s retirement program limiting his time as top cop," 27 Dec. 2020 One post announced that the discussion had prompted him to retire! Star Tribune, "Readers Write: COVID in Minnesota, legalizing marijuana, Al Milgrom," 25 Dec. 2020 Seaver grew up a few hours from Napa Valley and spent summers working at the raisin factory where his father was a vice president; his plan was to retire as a Metsie and live out his days making wine. Devin Gordon Kiese Makeba Laymon Carina Del Valle Schorske Dessa Irina Aleksander Sam Dolnick Mark Binelli Maggie Jones Rob Hoerburger Jamie Lauren Keiles Jazmine Hughes Jenna Wortham Jade Chang Taffy Brodesser-akner Kaitlyn Greenidge Reginald Dwayne Betts Rowan Ricardo Phillips Michael Paterniti Wesley Morris Ismail Muhammad Anthony Giardina, New York Times, "Even the greatest Met ever could have his heart broken by the Mets.," 24 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for retire

Time Traveler

The first known use of retire was in 1533

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Statistics for retire

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Retire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for retire


How to pronounce retire (audio)

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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Comments on retire

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