Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To get back into one's grasp, possession, or control, especially from a known place or a place of storage.
  • intransitive verb To go to and bring or escort back (someone).
  • intransitive verb To search for, find, and bring back.
  • intransitive verb To search for, find, and carry back (killed game or a thrown object). Used of dogs.
  • intransitive verb To gain access to (stored information).
  • intransitive verb To recall to mind (a memory, for example); remember.
  • intransitive verb To rescue or save.
  • intransitive verb Sports To make a difficult but successful return of (a ball or shuttlecock, as in tennis or badminton).
  • intransitive verb To restore to a former or desirable condition.
  • intransitive verb To rectify the unfavorable consequences of; remedy.
  • intransitive verb To find and bring back game or a thrown object.
  • noun The act of retrieving; retrieval.
  • noun Sports A difficult but successful return of a ball or shuttlecock.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A seeking again; a discovery; a recovery; specifically, in hunting, the recovery of game once sprung.
  • To find again; discover again; recover; regain.
  • Specifically, in hunting, to search for and fetch: as, a dog retrieves killed or wounded birds or other game to the sportsman.
  • To bring back to a state of well-being, prosperity, or success; restore; reëstablish: as, to retrieve one's credit.
  • To make amends for; repair; better; ameliorate.
  • To find, recover, or restore anything; specifically, in sporting, to seek and bring killed or wounded game: as, the dog retrieves well.

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

  • transitive verb To find again; to recover; to regain; to restore from loss or injury.
  • transitive verb To recall; to bring back.
  • transitive verb To remedy the evil consequence of, to repair, as a loss or damadge.
  • noun obsolete A seeking again; a discovery.
  • noun obsolete The recovery of game once sprung; -- an old sporting term.
  • intransitive verb (Sport.) To discover and bring in game that has been killed or wounded.

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

  • verb transitive To regain or get back something.
  • verb transitive To rescue (a) creature(s)
  • verb transitive To salvage something
  • verb transitive To remedy or rectify something.
  • verb transitive To remember or recall something.
  • verb transitive To fetch or carry back something.
  • verb transitive To fetch and bring in game.
  • verb intransitive To fetch and bring in game systematically.
  • verb intransitive To fetch or carry back systematically, notably as a game.
  • verb sports (transitive) To make a difficult but successful return of the ball.
  • noun A retrieval
  • noun sports The return of a difficult ball
  • noun obsolete A seeking again; a discovery.
  • noun obsolete The recovery of game once sprung.

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

  • verb get or find back; recover the use of
  • verb go for and bring back
  • verb recall knowledge from memory; have a recollection
  • verb run after, pick up, and bring to the master

Etymologies

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

[Middle English retreven, from Old French retrover, retruev- : re-, re- + trover, to find; see trover.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Recorded in Middle English c.1410 as retreve (altered to retrive in the 16th century; modern form is from c.1650), from Middle French retruev-, stem of Old French (=modern) retrouver "to find again", itself from re- "again" + trouver "to find" (probably from Vulgar Latin *tropare ("to compose"))

Examples

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