American English

Definition of retreat verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they retreat
    he / she / it retreats
    past simple retreated
    -ing form retreating
    jump to other results
    from danger/defeat
  1. 1[intransitive] to move away from a place or an enemy because you are in danger or because you have been defeated The army was forced to retreat after suffering heavy losses. We retreated back down the mountain. They retreated to a safe distance from the fighting. opposite advance
  2. move away/back
  3. 2[intransitive] to move away or back synonym recede He watched her retreating figure. The flood waters slowly retreated.
  4. change decision
  5. 3[intransitive] + adv./prep. to change your mind about something because of criticism or because a situation has become too difficult synonym back off (from something) The government had retreated from its pledge to reduce class sizes. He told them not to retreat in the face of opposition from the public.
  6. to quiet place
  7. 4[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to escape to a place that is quieter or safer synonym retire Bored with the conversation, she retreated to her bedroom. (figurative) He retreated into a world of fantasy.
  8. finance
  9. 5[intransitive] + noun to lose value Share prices retreated sharply from yesterday's highs.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: retreat