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 In 2012, in his first year, Nagai began retrenching some Lehman employees that Nomura had taken on, but failed to bring down costs sufficiently. Washington Post, "Nomura’s Departing CEO Leaves a Work in Progress," 2 Dec. 2019 Abandoning plans to form a national champion and retrenching to focus on core clients might not give either bank’s stock price an immediate fillip. Washington Post, "Put Germany’s Big Banking Merger Out of Its Misery," 5 Apr. 2019 The relative visibility of senior NSA officials — including Neuberger and Nakasone, who have made frequent public appearances since assuming their respective roles — comes as other intelligence community leadership has in large part retrenched. Olivia Gazis, CBS News, "Here's where U.S. cyber warriors are working to protect against election threats," 24 Oct. 2019 Within about a year, several online publishers that had pivoted to video were retrenching again -- in part because Facebook had decided to downplay videos from outside sites on its own pages. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Facebook’s bogus video claims just cost it $40 million, but they caused much more damage," 10 Oct. 2019 As chains such as Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co. and Sears Holdings Corp. have retrenched by closing hundreds of stores in recent years, with some even going out of business, brands such as Levi are looking to lessen their reliance on the channel. Suzanne Kapner And Maureen Farrell, WSJ, "Levi Strauss Looks Beyond Jeans With IPO," 13 Feb. 2019 Just about everybody that promised autonomous vehicles by 2019 has retrenched. New York Times, "Driverless Cars Arrive in New York City," 6 Aug. 2019 Bonaparte argues that wouldn’t be happening if U.S. consumers, who account for 70 percent of the nation’s economic activity, were retrenching. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Inverted yield curve not a warning flare for recession, CU Denver professor argues," 24 Aug. 2019 Then, an otherwise tight job market would start to crack and consumers would retrench. Enda Curran, Fortune, "The Trade War Is Nudging the World Economy Toward a Recession," 7 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for retrench

Time Traveler

The first known use of retrench was in 1587

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Statistics for retrench

Last Updated

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Retrench.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for retrench


How to pronounce retrench (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retrench

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with retrench

Spanish Central: Translation of retrench

Nglish: Translation of retrench for Spanish Speakers

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