Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or process of moving back or away, especially from something hazardous, formidable, or unpleasant.
  • noun Withdrawal of a military force from a dangerous position or from an enemy attack.
  • noun The process of receding from a position or of becoming smaller.
  • noun The process of changing or undergoing change in one's thinking or in a position.
  • noun A decline in value.
  • noun A place affording peace, quiet, privacy, or security. synonym: shelter.
  • noun A period of seclusion, retirement, or solitude.
  • noun A period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, or study.
  • noun The signal for a military withdrawal.
  • noun A bugle call or drumbeat signaling the lowering of the flag at sunset, as on a military base.
  • noun The military ceremony of lowering the flag.
  • intransitive verb To move backward or away; withdraw or retire: synonym: recede.
  • intransitive verb To make a military retreat.
  • intransitive verb To move back from a position of advancement or become smaller.
  • intransitive verb To change or undergo change in one's thinking or in a position.
  • intransitive verb To decline in value.
  • intransitive verb To move (a chess piece) back.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of retiring or withdrawing; withdrawal; departure.
  • noun Specifically, the retirement, either forced or strategical, of an army before an enemy; an orderly withdrawal from action or position: distinguished from a flight, which lacks system or plan.
  • noun The withdrawing of a ship or fleet from action; also, the order or disposition of ships declining an engagement.
  • noun A signal given in the army or navy, by beat of drum or sound of trumpet, at sunset, or for retiring from exercise, parade, or action.
  • noun Retirement; privacy; a state of seclusion from society or public life.
  • noun Place of retirement or privacy; a refuge; an asylum; a place of security or peace.
  • noun A period of retirement for religious self-examination, meditation, and special prayer.
  • In chess, to move (a piece) backward.
  • To retire; move backward; go back.
  • Specifically, to retire from military action or from an enemy; give way; fall back, as from a dangerous position.
  • In fencing, to move backward in order to avoid the point of the adversary's sword: specifically expressing a quick movement of the left foot a few inches to the rear, followed by the right foot, the whole being so executed that the fencer keeps his equilibrium and is ready to lunge and parry at will.
  • To recede: withdraw from an asserted claim or pretension, or from a course of action previously undertaken.
  • To withdraw to a retreat; go into retirement; retire for shelter, rest, or quiet.
  • To slope backward; have a receding outline or direction: as, a retreating forehead or chin.
  • To retract; retrace.
  • To reconsider; examine anew.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of retiring or withdrawing one's self, especially from what is dangerous or disagreeable.
  • noun The place to which anyone retires; a place or privacy or safety; a refuge; an asylum.
  • noun The retiring of an army or body of men from the face of an enemy, or from any ground occupied to a greater distance from the enemy, or from an advanced position.
  • noun The withdrawing of a ship or fleet from an enemy for the purpose of avoiding an engagement or escaping after defeat.
  • noun A signal given in the army or navy, by the beat of a drum or the sounding of trumpet or bugle, at sunset (when the roll is called), or for retiring from action.
  • noun A special season of solitude and silence to engage in religious exercises.
  • noun A period of several days of withdrawal from society to a religious house for exclusive occupation in the duties of devotion.
  • intransitive verb To make a retreat; to retire from any position or place; to withdraw.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of pulling back or withdrawing, as from something dangerous, or unpleasant.
  • noun The act of reversing direction and receding from a forward position.
  • noun A peaceful, quiet place affording privacy, or security.
  • noun A period of retirement, seclusion, or solitude.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English retret, from Old French retrait, retret, from past participle of retraire, retrere, to draw back, from Latin retrahere; see retract.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English retret, from Old French retrait or retret (to draw back), from Latin retrahere (retract).

Examples

  • He cites a Carleton University professor, Waller Newell, who regards that election as a vain retreat from the grimness of the Bush years: people expressing a naive wish, both at home and in Europe, for a peaceful future.

    The decline of the West

  • He cites a Carleton University professor, Waller Newell, who regards that election as a vain retreat from the grimness of the Bush years: people expressing a naive wish, both at home and in Europe, for a peaceful future.

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • The word retreat conjured images of expensive hotels in exotic locales with golf courses, five-star restaurants, spas, and everyone sitting around the pool sipping mai tais and piña coladas while some team leader spewed psychobabble bullshit and asked everyone, “How do you feel about that?”

    Bodily Harm

  • The only thing better than a quaint mountain retreat is a quaint PREFAB mountain retreat.

    STITCH ROOM by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec | Inhabitat

  • The only thing better than a quaint mountain retreat is a quaint PREFAB mountain retreat.

    RESOLUTION: 4 BIRDHOUSES | Inhabitat

  • Both said the term retreat mining goes back decades and that Murray is probably talking about different mining techniques.

    CNN Transcript Aug 12, 2007

  • Both said the term retreat mining goes back decades and that Murray's probably talking about different mining techniques.

    CNN Transcript Aug 8, 2007

  • Both said the term retreat mining goes back decades and that Murray's probably talking about different mining techniques.

    CNN Transcript Aug 8, 2007

  • Contemporary Western Buddhists often use the term retreat for any residential meditation course, even if for only a weekend, and for any period of time taken out of their busy daily lives and spent in secluded meditation on any topic.

    Dealing with Difficult Experiences that Arise in Meditation and in Retreat

  • While I know one of the themes of this retreat is the "complexities" of the issue, the "complexities" of the solutions, the "complexities" of the politics, and the "complexities" of our movement.

    Rev. Lennox Yearwood: Peace, Prosperity, and Purification: Ignored at our Peril

Comments

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  • When someone deserves another yummy snack.

    November 15, 2008