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 Kobach, 53, and other Republicans are running for the seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, who is retiring. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "GOP fears loss of Senate as Democrats handed opportunity in Kansas," 7 Jan. 2020 Internal Republican polling suggested that Mr. Pompeo would have easily captured the nomination for the seat that is being vacated by Senator Pat Roberts, a longtime member of the chamber who is retiring. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Mike Pompeo Is Said to Decide Against Running for Senate in Kansas," 6 Jan. 2020 Former Chief Bryan Roach, who retired last week after three years at the helm, sought to reshape IMPD to reduce the bloodshed. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "IMPD's new chief understands the pain of violence. His father-in-law was murdered.," 5 Jan. 2020 Sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica was third for dominating at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, soccer’s Lionel Messi was fourth, and Michael Phelps — the US swimmer who retired as history’s most decorated Olympian with 28 medals, 23 gold — was fifth., "was announced as the AP’s female athlete of the decade.," 31 Dec. 2019 Treadway, who is retiring from the role, recently donated multiple outfits — belts and boots and all — to the Minnesota Historical Society. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "A real-beard Santa for three decades, Leo Treadway donates the family legacy to the Minnesota Historical Society," 23 Dec. 2019 Ungaro, who retired in 2004, was born in Aix-en-Province in 1933. Emma Specter, Vogue, "French Fashion Designer Emanuel Ungaro is Dead at 86," 22 Dec. 2019 Dingell is a Michigan Democrat, as was her husband, former Rep. John Dingell, who retired in 2015 after serving in the House for nearly 60 years and died in February 2019. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Rep. John Yarmuth snaps back: 'Hell will be too good for' President Donald Trump," 19 Dec. 2019 The rights management veteran takes over at Directors UK from Andrew Chowns, who is retiring in 2020 after 10 years in the role. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "British Directors' Association Names Andy Harrower New CEO," 17 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for retire

Time Traveler

The first known use of retire was in 1533

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Statistics for retire

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Retire.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on retire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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