Thesaurus

return

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of return

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 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

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

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3 to speak or write in reaction to a question or to another reaction
  • when I asked him to sit down to dinner, he returned that he would come when he was good and ready

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4 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

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return

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of return (Entry 2 of 2)

1 something spoken or written in reaction especially to a question
  • I was moved by my grandfather's lengthy return to my casual question about his experiences in the Vietnam War

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2 an increase usually measured in money that comes from labor, business, or property
  • if we buy better equipment, we'll be able to make the product faster, thus getting a better return on our investment

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3 the amount of money left when expenses are subtracted from the total amount received
  • the return on each unit sold has increased since we streamlined the production process

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About return

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

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Time Traveler for return

Time Traveler

The first known use of return was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Return.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/return. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on return

Dictionary: Definition of return

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with return

Spanish Central: Translation of return

Nglish: Translation of return for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of return for Arabic Speakers

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