retreat

noun
re·treat | \ri-ˈtrēt \

Definition of retreat 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable

(2) : the process of receding from a position or state attained the retreat of a glacier

b(1) : the usually forced withdrawal of troops from an enemy or from an advanced position

(2) : a signal for retreating

c(1) : a signal given by bugle at the beginning of a military flag-lowering ceremony

(2) : a military flag-lowering ceremony

2 : a place of privacy or safety : refuge

3 : a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director

retreat

verb
retreated; retreating; retreats

Definition of retreat (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a retreat : withdraw

2 : to slope backward

transitive verb

: to draw or lead back : remove specifically : to move (a piece) back in chess

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Other Words from retreat

Verb

retreater noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for retreat

Synonyms: Noun

pullback, pullout, recession, retirement, withdrawal

Synonyms: Verb

back away, drop back, fall back, pull out, recede, retire, withdraw

Antonyms: Noun

advance, advancement

Antonyms: Verb

advance

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Choose the Right Synonym for retreat

Verb

recede, retreat, retract, back mean to move backward. recede implies a gradual withdrawing from a forward or high fixed point in time or space. the flood waters gradually receded retreat implies withdrawal from a point or position reached. retreating soldiers retract implies drawing back from an extended position. a cat retracting its claws back is used with up, down, out, or off to refer to any retrograde motion. backed off on the throttle

Examples of retreat in a Sentence

Noun

Some of her friends were surprised by her retreat from public life following her defeat in the election. we made a strategic retreat when we realized that we were outnumbered

Verb

When the enemy attacked, our troops were forced to retreat. They retreated behind trees for safety. He quickly retreated from the room. After her defeat, she retreated from politics.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Six patients, usually men, are initially placed at a rural retreat and weaned off electronics while being taught how to socialize and exercise. Anchorage Daily News, "Video game addiction tries to move from basement to doctor's office," 18 June 2018 In the debut cartoon, Magoo goes on a holiday at a mountain retreat with his nephew. The Washington Post, AL.com, "Who is the real Mr. Magoo? Sessions or Trump?," 1 Mar. 2018 In Bess Wohl’s ‘Small Mouth Sounds’ at the Adrienne Arsht Center, six hurting souls seek healing at a silent retreat. Christine Dolen, miamiherald, "‘Small Mouth Sounds’ at Arsht Center connects through subtle, nonverbal communication | Miami Herald," 19 Feb. 2018 At a leadership retreat last year, organizers decided to spend less time on traditional protests and more on innovative rhetorical campaigns. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can the young activists of IfNotNow change the conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, or will their contradictions hold them back?," 12 July 2018 There, for a few blissful spring days at a hunting retreat far from his myriad worries in New York and Washington, Donald Trump Jr., eldest son and namesake of the president of the United States, was simply Don. Julia Ioffe, GQ, "The Real Story of Donald Trump Jr.," 21 June 2018 CBS News got an inside look at one lavish retreat at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, where businesses and trade groups paid for access. Laura Strickler And Nancy Cordes, CBS News, "Inside a lavish retreat where lobbyists donate for access to state attorneys general," 19 June 2018 Six patients, usually men, are initially placed at a rural retreat and weaned off electronics while being taught how to socialize and exercise. Anchorage Daily News, "Video game addiction tries to move from basement to doctor's office," 18 June 2018 Six patients, usually men, are initially placed at a rural retreat and weaned off electronics while being taught how to socialize and exercise. New York Times, "Video Game Addiction Tries to Move From Basement to Doctor’s Office," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Having followed through on exacting revenge for his brother’s murder, Louis of Hungary was just about ready to retreat anyway. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 Nearby, a ground-floor breakroom features a roll-up glass door, TVs, shuffleboard and a Ping-Pong table, offering staffers another place to retreat. Jennifer Van Grove, sandiegouniontribune.com, "GreatCall moves into cushier digs," 2 July 2018 The hosts would continue to retreat, apparently convinced Spain lacked the creativity, daring or incisiveness to prevail. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Dogged Russia Continues World Cup Run, Brings Spain's Celebrated Era to an End," 1 July 2018 Trump retreated today from his policy of separating children from parents who arrived in the United States illegally seeking asylum. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Like Bush and Obama, Trump gets stuck on immigration," 21 June 2018 Trump retreated from family separations on Wednesday amid growing political pressure, signing an executive order that would instead allow officials to detain parents and children together for indefinite periods of time. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gov. Scott Walker says separating children at the border is a federal issue," 21 June 2018 But Trump later retreated on those words, expressing support for modest changes to the background check system, as well as arming teachers. Catherine Lucey, San Antonio Express-News, "After flirting with gun-control movement, Trump faces NRA," 4 May 2018 Trump, meanwhile, retreated to his third floor residence to watch coverage of the strikes on television. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump pushes ahead with Syria strikes amid broader tumult," 13 Apr. 2018 Trump also retreated to default conservative positions on gun control after suggesting broader restrictions in the wake of the shooting massacre in Parkland, Florida. Author: Ashley Parker, Anchorage Daily News, "The GOP platform's ruling plank: Trumpism," 25 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'retreat.' 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 retreat

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for retreat

Noun

Middle English retret, from Anglo-French retrait, from past participle of retraire to withdraw, from Latin retrahere, from re- + trahere to draw

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Statistics for retreat

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for retreat

The first known use of retreat was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for retreat

retreat

noun

English Language Learners Definition of retreat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: movement by soldiers away from an enemy because the enemy is winning or has won a battle

: movement away from a place or situation especially because it is dangerous, unpleasant, etc.

: the act of changing your opinion or position on something because it is unpopular

retreat

verb

English Language Learners Definition of retreat (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move back to get away from danger, attack, etc.

: to move or go away from a place or situation especially because it is dangerous, unpleasant, etc.

: to change your opinion or statement about something because it is unpopular

retreat

noun
re·treat | \ri-ˈtrēt \

Kids Definition of retreat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act of going back or away especially from something dangerous, difficult, or disagreeable The enemy is in retreat.

2 : a military signal for turning away from the enemy He sounded the retreat.

3 : a place of privacy or safety a mountain retreat

4 : a period of time in which a person goes away to pray, think quietly, or study

retreat

verb
retreated; retreating

Kids Definition of retreat (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to move back or away especially from something dangerous, difficult, or disagreeable The troops retreated at nightfall.

2 : to go to a place of privacy or safety The family retreated to their summer home.

retreat

noun
re·treat

Legal Definition of retreat 

: the act or process of withdrawing from a dangerous situation

Note: Many jurisdictions require that a person must have at least attempted a retreat, if it was possible to do so with safety, in order for a defense of self-defense to prevail. Retreat from an attack in one's own home, however, is usually not required.

Other Words from retreat

retreat verb

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Comments on retreat

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