American English

Definition of return verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they return
    he / she / it returns
    past simple returned
    -ing form returning
    jump to other results
    come/go back
  1. 1[intransitive] to come or go back from one place to another I waited a long time for him to return. return (to…) (from…) She's returning to China after she finishes college in the United States. I returned from work to find the house empty. When did she return home from the trip? I had to return to the store to look for my purse.
  2. bring/give back
  3. 2[transitive] to bring, give, put, or send something back to someone or something return somebody/something to somebody/something We had to return the hair dryer to the store because it was faulty. I have to return some books to the library. The court ordered him to return the children to their mother. Completed questionnaires should be returned to this address. return something Don't forget to return my pen! return somebody/something + adj. I returned the letter unopened.
  4. of feeling/quality
  5. 3[intransitive] to come back again synonym reappear, resurface The following day the pain returned. Her suspicions returned when things started disappearing again.
  6. to previous subject/activity
  7. 4[intransitive] return (to something) to start discussing a subject you were discussing earlier, or doing an activity you were doing earlier He returns to this topic later in the report. She looked up briefly then returned to her sewing. The doctor may allow her to return to work next week.
  8. to previous state
  9. 5[intransitive] return to something to go back to a previous state Train service returned to normal after the strike.
  10. do/give the same
  11. 6[transitive] return something to do or give something to someone because they have done or given the same to you first; to have the same feeling about someone that they have about you to return a favor/greeting/stare She phoned him several times but he was too busy to return her call. It's time we returned their invitation (= invited them to something as they invited us to something first). He did not return her love. “You were both wonderful!” “So were you!” we said,returning the compliment. to return fire (= to shoot at someone who is shooting at you)
  12. in tennis, etc.
  13. 7[transitive] return something to hit the ball back to your opponent during a game to return a serve/shot
  14. a verdict
  15. 8[transitive] return a verdict to give a decision about something in court The jury returned a verdict of not guilty. The inquest returned a verdict of accidental death.
  16. profit
  17. 9[transitive] return something (business) to give or produce a particular amount of money as a profit to return a high rate of interest Last year the company returned a profit of $100 million.
  18. Thesaurusreturncome back go back get back turn backThese words all mean to come or go back from one place to another.return to come or go back from one place to another:I waited a long time for him to return. Return is slightly more formal than the other words in this group, and is used more often in writing or formal speech.come back to return Come back is usually used from the point of view of the person or place that someone returns to:Come back and visit again soon!go back to return to the place you recently or originally came from or that you have been to before Go back is usually used from the point of view of the person who is returning:Do you ever want to go back to China?get back to arrive back somewhere, especially at your home or the place where you are staying:What time did you get back last night?turn back to return the way that you came, especially because something stops you from continuing:The weather got so bad that we had to turn back.Patterns to return/come back/go back/get back to/from/with something to return/come back/go back/get back/turn back again to return/come back/go back/get back home/to work to return/come back/get back safely
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: return