return 1 of 2

1
as in to restore
to bring, send, or put back to a former or proper place when I'm done reading a book, I always return it to the very shelf I got it from

Synonyms & Similar Words

Relevance

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

2
as in to yield
to produce as revenue this technology stock is expected to return a healthy profit

Synonyms & Similar Words

3
4
as in to revert
to go back to a previous and usually lower state or level vowed to do anything to keep the recovering alcoholic from returning to his dissolute ways

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

return

2 of 2

noun

1
2
3

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb return contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of return are reciprocate, requite, and retaliate. While all these words mean "to give back usually in kind or in quantity," return implies a paying or giving back.

returned their call
return good for evil

In what contexts can reciprocate take the place of return?

Although the words reciprocate and return have much in common, 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

When is requite a more appropriate choice than return?

In some situations, the words requite and return are roughly equivalent. However, requite implies a paying back according to one's preference and often not equivalently.

requited her love with cold indifference

When is it sensible to use retaliate instead of return?

The synonyms retaliate and return are sometimes interchangeable, but retaliate usually implies a paying back of injury in exact kind, often vengefully.

the enemy retaliated by executing their prisoners

Thesaurus Entries Near return

Cite this Entry

“Return.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/return. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on return

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!