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

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 The threshold in 2021 was $210 million, and players believed that even some of the richest clubs had begun to treat the tax as a de facto salary cap, using it as an excuse to retrench and suppress compensation. Jared Diamond, WSJ, 11 Mar. 2022 One way or another, the court is poised to retrench on nearly a half century of constitutional protection. Joan Biskupic, CNN, 1 Dec. 2021 Surging infections caused by the Delta variant has caused some investors to retrench. Jeffrey Schulze, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 It’s a process called abscission, Tauscher said, where the trees retrench those chemicals and release the leaf. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Oct. 2021 By now, Blake and Robitaille have had time to retrench and replenish the talent pool and produce results. Los Angeles Times, 23 Sep. 2021 And even if the House approves it, a law codifying Roe would join the long list of liberal priorities that have no chance of clearing the Senate unless the Democratic majority there agrees to retrench or eliminate the filibuster. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, 25 May 2021 More broadly, Harvard urged the justices not to retrench on its precedents that date to 1978 and have allowed screening based partly on race to build an inclusive, diverse study body. Joan Biskupic, CNN, 14 June 2021 His actions are much more consistent with a leader who wants to retrench the DOJ in its traditional, institutional role as the semi-independent defender of the executive branch. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 11 June 2021 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of retrench was in 1587

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Last Updated

24 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Retrench.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of retrench for Spanish Speakers


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