1

return

verb re·turn \ ri-ˈtərn \
Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of return

intransitive verb
1 a :to go back or come back again
  • return home
b :to go back in thought, practice, or condition :revert
2 :to pass back to an earlier possessor
transitive verb
1 a :to give (something, such as an official account) to a superior
b British :to elect (a candidate) as attested by official report or returns
c :to bring back (something, such as a writ or verdict) to an office or tribunal
2 a :to bring, send, or put back to a former or proper place
b :to restore to a former or to a normal state
3 a :to send back :visit usually used with on or upon
b obsolete :retort
4 :to bring in (profit) :yield
5 a :to give or perform in return :repay
  • return a compliment
; also :to respond to in kind
  • returned his calls
b :to give back to the owner
c :reflect
  • return an echo
6 :to cause (something, such as a wall) to continue in a different direction (as at a right angle)
7 :to lead (a specified suit or specified card of a suit) in response to a partner's earlier lead
8 a :to hit back (a ball or shuttlecock)
b :to run with (a football) after a change of possession (as by a punt or a fumble)

returner

noun

Examples of return in a Sentence

  1. We waited for you to return.

  2. She is returning home tomorrow.

  3. I'm leaving but will return at 2 p.m.

  4. I have to return a book to the library.

  5. I'm returning your ladder. Thanks for letting me borrow it.

  6. The dishes were broken when they were delivered, so I had to return them.

  7. I had to return the shirt and get a bigger size.

  8. His jealousy returned when he saw his ex-wife with her new husband.

Recent Examples of return from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'return.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of return

Middle English, from Anglo-French returner, from re- + turner, tourner to turn — more at turn

return Synonyms

Synonyms
replace, restore
Antonyms
ask, inquire, question
Related Words
reconvey
Near Antonyms
remove, take

Synonym Discussion of return

reciprocate, retaliate, requite, return mean to give back usually in kind or in quantity. reciprocate implies a mutual or equivalent exchange or a paying back of what one has received.
    • reciprocated their hospitality by inviting them for a visit
retaliate usually implies a paying back of injury in exact kind, often vengefully.
    • the enemy retaliated by executing their prisoners
requite implies a paying back according to one's preference and often not equivalently.
    • requited her love with cold indifference
return implies a paying or giving back.
    • returned their call
    • return good for evil

2

return

noun

Definition of return

1 a :the act of coming back to or from a place or condition
b :a regular or frequent returning :recurrence
2 a (1) :the delivery of a legal order (such as a writ) to the proper officer or court
(2) :an endorsed certificate stating an official's action in the execution of such an order
(3) :the sending back of a commission with the certificate of the commissioners
b :an account or formal report
c (1) :a report of the results of balloting usually used in plural
  • election returns
(2) :an official declaration of the election of a candidate
(3) chiefly British :election
d (1) :a formal statement on a required legal form showing taxable income, allowable deductions and exemptions, and the computation of the tax due
(2) :a list of taxable property
3 a :the continuation usually at a right angle of the face or of a member of a building or of a molding or group of moldings
b :a means for conveying something (such as water) back to its starting point
4 a :a quantity of goods, consignment, or cargo coming back in exchange for goods sent out as a mercantile venture
b :the value of or profit from such venture
c (1) :the profit from labor, investment, or business :yield
(2) returns plural :results
d :the rate of profit in a process of production per unit of cost
5 a :the act of returning something to a former place, condition, or ownership :restitution
  • the return of stolen goods
b :something returned; especially returns plural :unsold publications returned to the publisher for cash or credit
6 a :something given in repayment or reciprocation
  • a return on their years of hard work
7 :an answering play: such as
a :a lead in a suit previously led by one's partner in a card game
b :the action or an instance of returning a ball (as in football or tennis)
8 chiefly British :round-trip
in return
:in reciprocation, compensation, or repayment

Examples of return in a Sentence

  1. We are looking forward to your return.

  2. We're looking forward to our return to Europe.

  3. The team looked forward to his return to coaching.

  4. a return to the old ways of farming

  5. the department's return to normal

  6. The people celebrated their leader's return to power.

Recent Examples of return from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'return.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of return

14th century


3

return

adjective

Definition of return

1 a :having or formed by a change of direction
  • a return facade
b :doubled on itself
  • a return flue
2 a :played, delivered, or given in return
  • return fire from the enemy
b :taking place for the second time
  • a return meeting for the two champions
3 :used or taken on returning
  • the return road
4 :returning or permitting return
  • a return valve
5 :of, relating to, or causing a return to a place or condition
  • use the prestamped return envelope

Recent Examples of return from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'return.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of return

1676


British Definition of RETURN

1

return

verb

British Definition of return

transitive verb
:to elect (a candidate) as attested by official report or returns
2

return

noun

British Definition of return

:a report of the results of balloting usually used in plural
  • election returns
:an official declaration of the election of a candidate
in return

Financial Definition of RETURN

return

What It Is

A tax return is a set of forms that a taxpayer uses to calculate and report taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

How It Works

April 15 is the annual deadline for filing a tax return, though some types of taxpayers must file tax returns quarterly. Most individual taxpayers use one of the IRS's 1040 form in addition to forms that report or calculate taxes owed or paid on special types of income.

In general, a tax return involves calculating gross income, capital gains/losses, deductions, interest payments, distributions, and tax credits.

Why It Matters

Tax returns are the key components of the IRS's tax collection efforts. The IRS recommends that individual taxpayers keep their tax returns for at least seven years.


RETURN Defined for English Language Learners

return

verb

Definition of return for English Language Learners

  • : to come or go to a place again : to come back or go back again

  • : to bring, give, send, or take (something) to the place that it came from or the place where it should go

  • : to bring or send (something that you bought) to the place that it came from because it does not work or fit properly, because it is damaged, etc.


return

noun

Definition of return for English Language Learners

  • : the act of coming or going back to the place you started from or to a place where you were before

  • : the act of going back to an activity, job, situation, etc. : the act of starting to do something again after stopping

  • : the fact that something (such as a condition, feeling, or situation) happens again


return

adjective

Definition of return for English Language Learners

  • : used in or taken for returning to a place

  • : happening or done for the second time

  • : used or paying for a trip that takes you to a place and back to the place you started from


RETURN Defined for Kids

1

return

verb re·turn \ ri-ˈtərn \

Definition of return for Students

returned; returning
1 :to come or go back again
  • Birds return each spring.
2 :to bring, give, send, or put back
  • Have you returned your library book?
3 :repay 1
  • She never returned the borrowed money.
4 :to respond in the same way
  • I returned the compliment.
5 :to make an official report of
  • The jury returned a verdict.
6 :1yield 4, produce
  • The investment returned a profit.

2

return

noun

Definition of return for Students

1 :the act of coming or going back to a place or condition
  • They await his return home.
  • She hoped for a return to normal.
2 :recurrence
  • the return of spring
3 :the act of returning something (as to a former condition or owner)
  • He thanked me for the return of his wallet.
4 :something given in payment or exchange
  • She asked nothing in return.
5 :a report of the results of voting
  • election returns
6 :a statement of income to be taxed
7 :the profit from labor, investment, or business

3

return

adjective

Definition of return for Students

1 :happening or done for the second time
  • a return visit
2 :used for returning
  • a return ticket

Law Dictionary

1

return

transitive verb re·turn

legal Definition of return

1 a :to give (an official account or report) to a superior (as by a list or statement)
  • return the names of all residents in the ward
  • return a list of jurors
b :to bring back (as a writ, verdict, or indictment) to an office or tribunal
  • the sheriff must return the execution…to the proper clerk within sixty days
  • —J. H. Friedenthal et al.
  • the grand jury returned six indictments
  • returned a verdict of not guilty
2 :to bring in or produce (as earnings or profit) :yield

returnable

adjective

2

return

noun

legal Definition of return

1 a :the delivery of a court order (as a writ) to the proper officer or court
3 :an account or formal report (as of an action performed or duty discharged or of facts and statistics)
  • census returns
; especially :a set of tabulated statistics prepared for general information usually used in pl.
4 a :a report of the results of balloting
  • election returns
b :an official declaration of the election of a candidate
  • each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members
  • U.S. Constitution art. I
5 :a formal document executed in accordance with law on a required form showing taxable income, allowable deductions and exemptions, and the computation of the tax due called also tax return
6 :the profit from labor, investment, or business :yield
7 :something returned; specifically :a paper (as a check or draft) calling for payment that is returned by a bank to the clearinghouse because of a defect (as lack of funds or insufficient endorsement)


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