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

  • noun A cutting down or back; reduction.
  • noun A curtailment of expenses.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of retrenching, lopping off, or pruning; the act of removing what is superfluous: as, retrenchment of words in a writing.
  • noun The act of curtailing, reducing, or lessening; diminution; particularly, the reduction of outlay or expenses; economy.
  • noun Milit.: An interior rampart or defensible line, comprising ditch and parapet, which cuts off a part of a fortress from the rest, and to which a garrison may retreat to prolong a defense, when the enemy has gained partial possession of the place.
  • noun An intrenchment.
  • noun Synonyms and Reduction, curtailment, abridgment.

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

  • noun The act or process of retrenching.
  • noun (Fort.) A work constructed within another, to prolong the defense of the position when the enemy has gained possession of the outer work; or to protect the defenders till they can retreat or obtain terms for a capitulation.

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

  • noun A reduction or curtailment; often referring to a business or government agency cutting back operations or laying off workers.
  • noun military, dated A defensive work constructed within a fortification to make it more defensible (by allowing defenders to retreat into and fight from it even after the enemy has taken the outer work).

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

  • noun the reduction of expenditures in order to become financially stable
  • noun entrenchment consisting of an additional interior fortification to prolong the defense


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The union is protesting against what it calls the retrenchment of 30 teachers in the sprawling township.

    ANC Daily News Briefing 1993

  • But If American consumers are in long-term retrenchment mode, a value-added tax that discourages consumption and encourages savings will further depress the consumer-spending component of GDP.

    When It Comes to Others' Big Tariffs, U.S. Is a Patsy 2011

  • Some retrenchment is suggested by Edward's household later sharing accommodation with Elizabeth and Mary.

    From Heads of Household to Heads of State: The Preaccession Households of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor, 1516-1558 2008

  • Additionally, this long-term retrenchment measure illustrates that the Conservatives are beginning to think in terms of governing rather than opposing.

    Further, stronger, faster 2009

  • Yes, there must be short-term retrenchment, sacrifices by management and labor, termination of unprofitable product lines and hard choices that must be shared by all.

    Save the Auto Industry, The American Way 2008

  • HARRIS: All right, as we try to get more familiar with this Greenspan lexicon, he mentioned the word retrenchment maybe 10, 15, 20 times in the span that we listened to yesterday.

    CNN Transcript - Special Event: Fed Chairman Greenspan Testifies Before House Budget Committee - March 2, 2001 2001

  • However, the alliance would necessitate the short-term retrenchment of some Airlink cabin staff and cut-backs in cockpit personnel.

    ANC Daily News Briefing 1994

  • The cuts may not be only a temporary downsizing, but rather a long-term retrenchment of the nation's second-largest transit system. - 2010

  • The cuts may not be only a temporary downsizing, but rather a long-term retrenchment of the nation's second-largest transit system. - 2010

  • The cuts may not be only a temporary downsizing, but rather a long-term retrenchment of the nation's second-largest transit system. - 2010

  • So I just got retrenched. Retrenchment is a term that describes the situation when tenure-track or tenured faculty are let go because their positions have been eliminated. I wasn't quite tenured, although I was going up for tenure this fall. But plenty of tenured people are losing their jobs too. As I understand it, in addition to the four people who were already retrenched, 27 more have been cut. That will leave 141 faculty at BSU.

    Retrenched! Dan Allosso 2023


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