- 1 retain something to keep something; to continue to have something synonym preserve to retain your independence He struggled to retain control of the situation. The house retains much of its original charm. She retained her tennis title for the third year.
- 2 retain something to continue to hold or contain something a soil that retains moisture This information is no longer retained within the computer's main memory. (figurative) She has a good memory and finds it easy to retain facts.
- 3retain somebody/something (law) if a member of the public retains somebody such as a lawyer, he or she pays money regularly or in advance so the lawyer, etc. will do work for him or her a retaining fee to retain the services of a lawyer see also retention, retentive Word Origin late Middle English: via Anglo-Norman French from Old French retenir, from Latin retinere, from re-
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BrE BrE//rɪˈteɪn//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈteɪn//(rather formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they retain
BrE BrE//rɪˈteɪn//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈteɪn//he / she / it retains
BrE BrE//rɪˈteɪnz//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈteɪnz//past simple retained
BrE BrE//rɪˈteɪnd//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈteɪnd//past participle retained
BrE BrE//rɪˈteɪnd//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈteɪnd//-ing form retaining
BrE BrE//rɪˈteɪnɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈteɪnɪŋ//