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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The wholesale bakery, which operated in Walnut Hills for 37 years, shuttered its doors in March when co-owners Jim Ciuccio and Richard Ferguson decided to retire and lease the space. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 10 May 2022 Vicky was the assistant director of corrections at the Lauderdale County Detention Center and allegedly took part in the brazen jailhouse escape on the day she was set to retire. Lorraine Taylor, Fox News, 10 May 2022 Vicky White allegedly sold her home and was set to retire the day the couple fled, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement. Celina Tebor, USA TODAY, 9 May 2022 The nationwide manhunt began on the day Vicky White was set to retire day after an exemplary 17 years at the jail. Carol Robinson |, al, 9 May 2022 Vicky White planned to retire; Friday -- the day of the escape -- was her last day, the sheriff said. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 5 May 2022 The escape unfolded April 29 — the day Vicky White was set to retire — at the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, about 70 miles west of Huntsville. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 5 May 2022 In addition, Andrews made comments about it being time for older deputy clerks to retire, the order said. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 4 May 2022 Donohue and Hubbell had planned to retire after the Olympics and came back one more time after finishing fourth in the 2018 Games. Lori Riley, Hartford Courant, 20 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Retire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for retire


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

More from Merriam-Webster on retire

Nglish: Translation of retire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of retire for Arabic Speakers


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