Thesaurus

retain

verb

Synonyms and Antonyms of retain

  1. 1 to continue to have in one's possession or power I plan to retain the family heirlooms until my own children are mature enough to appreciate them, and then I will lovingly pass them on Synonyms of retain hold, reserve, keep, withholdWords Related to retain conserve, guard, preserve, protect, save; boast, enjoy, have, own, possess; command, control, detain, direct, manage, rule; bear, harbor; cherish, cling (to), hug, treasureNear Antonyms of retain abandon, cede, drop; contribute, donate, give, hand out; discard, dump; decline, reject, repudiate, spurn; loseAntonyms of retain give up, hand over, release, relinquish, surrender, yield

  2. 2 to keep, control, or experience as one's own that author retains the right to veto any changes in his books suggested by his publisher's notoriously intrusive editor Synonyms of retain command, enjoy, hold, own, possess, haveWords Related to retain keep, reserve, withhold; bear, carry; boast, show off, sportNear Antonyms of retain abandon, cede, disclaim, disown, hand over, relinquish, renounce, surrender, yield; discard, dump; decline, reject, repudiate, spurn; need, requireAntonyms of retain lack, want

  3. 3 to provide with a paying job her neighbor retained her as a nanny for the summer, thus giving her something to do until school started again Synonyms of retain assume, engage, fee [chiefly Scottish], hire, lay on [chiefly British], pay, place, recruit, employ, sign (up or on), take onWords Related to retain reemploy, reengage, rehire; apprentice, contract, job, partner, subcontract; enlist; advance, promote, upgrade; keep (on); headhunt, scoutNear Antonyms of retain furlough, lay off, lock outAntonyms of retain ax (or axe), can, discharge, dismiss, fire, sack

Synonym Discussion of retain

keep, retain, detain, withhold, reserve mean to hold in one's possession or under one's control. keep may suggest a holding securely in one's possession, custody, or control.
    • keep this while I'm gone
retain implies continued keeping, especially against threatened seizure or forced loss.
    • managed to retain their dignity even in poverty
detain suggests a delay in letting go.
    • detained them for questioning
withhold implies restraint in letting go or a refusal to let go.
    • withheld information from the authorities
reserve suggests a keeping in store for future use.
    • reserve some of your energy for the last mile


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