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 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 In late 2018, housing essentially held up China’s economy as export growth slowed and consumers retrenched. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Building a Case For Chinese Property," 16 Apr. 2019 Apple may be the biggest beneficiary of the Trump administration's move to retrench in its ongoing trade war with China. Rachel Layne, CBS News, "Apple lifted by delay in U.S. tariffs on electronics made in China," 13 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, Lavalin is retrenching dramatically, shedding employees and top executives. Susan Schmidt, ProPublica, "Meet the Congressman Defending Questionable Tax Breaks for a Company Connected to His Rich Brother," 2 July 2019 Trucking firms appear to be retrenching after a long stretch of expansion last year. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Warehouse Hiring Surges on Rising E-Commerce Demand," 3 May 2019 The result was that big Japanese banks were in a position to snap up some of the business left behind as American and British banks retrenched in Asia after the financial crisis. The Economist, "Japan’s bloated retail banks need to downsize," 3 May 2018 Falsetto says the brand is retrenching as his restaurant group focuses on expansion of its successful Tacocraft concept. Michael Mayo,, "Rok:Brgr closes Fort Lauderdale flagship for renovations; Hallandale location shut permanently," 24 June 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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Statistics for retrench

Time Traveler for retrench

The first known use of retrench was in 1587

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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

Comments on retrench

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to engage in dissolute behavior

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