re·​trench | \ ri-ˈtrench How to pronounce retrench (audio) \
retrenched; retrenching; retrenches

Definition of retrench

transitive verb

b : to cut out : excise
2 : to pare away : remove

intransitive verb

: to make retrenchments specifically : economize

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Choose the Right Synonym for retrench

shorten, curtail, abbreviate, abridge, retrench mean to reduce in extent. shorten implies reduction in length or duration. shorten a speech curtail adds an implication of cutting that in some way deprives of completeness or adequacy. ceremonies curtailed because of rain abbreviate implies a making shorter usually by omitting some part. using an abbreviated title abridge implies a reduction in compass or scope with retention of essential elements and a relative completeness in the result. the abridged version of the novel retrench suggests a reduction in extent or costs of something felt to be excessive. declining business forced the company to retrench

Examples of retrench in a Sentence

When the economy slowed, the company was forced to retrench.

Recent Examples on the Web

But senior Iranian officials insist Tehran will neither retrench nor negotiate. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "Trump Digs In for a Long, Cold War With Iran," 4 Nov. 2018 In addition to that mega deal, GM has walked away or retrenched from markets including India, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia and South Africa. David Welch,, "Detroit Is Back in Retrench Mode, This Time to Make Real Money," 27 Apr. 2018 But as cash flow and profits have evaporated, GE has been forced to retrench. Thomas Gryta, WSJ, "Why Some GE Investors Welcome Another Dividend Cut," 28 Oct. 2018 The company had to retrench after the city ordered all scooters off the road. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Bird CEO Explains Why His Scooter Startup Needed $300 Million," 28 June 2018 The French and German leaders have retrenched their positions even as the number of asylum applications to the European Union has plummeted. James Mcauley And Luisa Beck, Washington Post, "Merkel and Macron defend a diminished vision of European values," 7 July 2018 But rather than responding with fresh investment, Western oil companies have retrenched, a move many now say threatens a longer-term supply crunch. Sarah Kent, WSJ, "As OPEC Meets to Lift Output, Big Oil Companies Are Holding Back," 21 June 2018 Worries about anti-euro sentiment in Italy in late May had sparked a broad sell-off in Italian bonds; Japanese investors retrenched from foreign debt around the same time. Kosaku Narioka, WSJ, "Japanese Investors Are Back to Their Foreign Bond Buying Ways," 22 June 2018 Public and political outrage over such price hikes, which are par for the course in the industry, may on occasion nudge firms to retrench for fear of a PR headache. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "3 Key Lessons From Trump's Drug Price Feud With Pfizer," 11 July 2018

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

1587, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for retrench

obsolete French retrencher (now retrancher), from Middle French retrenchier, from re- + trenchier to cut

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Statistics for retrench

Last Updated

27 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for retrench

The first known use of retrench was in 1587

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English Language Learners Definition of retrench

formal : to change the way things are done in order to spend less money

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More from Merriam-Webster on retrench

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with retrench

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Spanish Central: Translation of retrench

Nglish: Translation of retrench for Spanish Speakers

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