Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To reduce (expenses, for example); cut down.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To remove, delete, or omit.
  • intransitive verb To curtail expenses; economize.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To cut off; pare away; prune.
  • To deprive by cutting off; mutilate.
  • To cut down; reduce in size, number, extent, or amount; curtail; diminish; lessen.
  • To cut short; abridge.
  • To limit; restrict.
  • Milit.: To furnish with a retrenchment or retrenchments.
  • To intrench.
  • To make a reduction in quantity, amount, or extent; especially, to curtail expenses; economize.
  • To trench; encroach; make inroads.

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

  • intransitive verb To cause or suffer retrenchment; specifically, to cut down living expenses.
  • transitive verb To cut off; to pare away.
  • transitive verb To lessen; to abridge; to curtail.
  • transitive verb To confine; to limit; to restrict.
  • transitive verb (Fort.) To furnish with a retrenchment.

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

  • verb To cut down or reduce something
  • verb To dig or redig a trench where one already was.
  • verb To take up a new defensive position (from military term retrenchment)

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb make a reduction, as in one's workforce
  • verb tighten one's belt; use resources carefully

Etymologies

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

[Obsolete French retrencher, from Old French retrenchier : re-, re- + trenchier, to cut; see trench.]

Examples

  • The word retrench has appeared in 15 Times articles over the past year, including in a June 11, 2009 article

    NYT > Home Page

  • And in your view, are you going to continue with a lot of your niche publications or do you think that you are going to retrench -- in other words, what are your plans for some of these publications?

    pfblogs.org: The Ad-Free Personal Finance Blogs Aggregator (real estate blogs)

  • And in your view, are you going to continue with a lot of your niche publications or do you think that you are going to retrench -- in other words, what are your plans for some of these publications?

    pfblogs.org: The Ad-Free Personal Finance Blogs Aggregator (real estate blogs)

  • And what concerns me is, is that the United States of America will become fatigued when it comes to fighting off tyrants, or say it's too hard to spread liberty, or use the excuse that just because freedom hadn't flourished in parts of the world, therefore it's not worth trying, and that, as a result, we kind of retrench and lose confidence in our -- the values that have made us a great nation in the first place.

    CNN Transcript Mar 14, 2008

  • WSJ Reporter Liz Rappaport reports moves by banks retrench by announcing layoffs and cutting costs across the board, including Credit Suisse and UBS.

    Greek Woes Hit Commerzbank

  • WSJ Reporter Liz Rappaport reports moves by banks retrench by announcing layoffs and cutting costs across the board, including Credit Suisse and UBS.

    RBS Warns of Tough Recovery

  • Most prime customers simply retrench and deal with it, but I've had several conversations with subprime customers who know they are going to lose the house.

    Housing Market Uncertainties, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • AMR insists it won't retrench from its five market hubs, but some analysts say its American Airlines will have to get smaller to thrive.

    What's News: Business & Finance

  • In Asia, many central banks have been tightening policy to fight inflation, weighing on businesses just as key export markets retrench.

    Global Gloom Buffets Factories

  • After a long flight back to Arizona, the coaching staff decided to retrench with a back-to-basics practice approach after the team lost four of its final six games following a 7-3 start.

    Indignant Cards deck Falcons, prove they deserved a spot

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