American English

Definition of retrieve verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they retrieve
    he / she / it retrieves
    past simple retrieved
    -ing form retrieving
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  1. 1(formal) to bring or get something back, especially from a place where it should not be synonym recover retrieve something from somebody/something She bent to retrieve her comb from the floor. The dog retrieved the ball from the water. retrieve something The police have been able to retrieve some of the stolen money.
  2. 2(computing) to find and get back data or information that has been stored in the memory of a computer retrieve something from somebody/something to retrieve information from the database retrieve something The program allows you to retrieve items quickly by searching under a keyword.
  3. 3retrieve something to make a bad situation better; to get back something that was lost You can only retrieve the situation by apologizing. Employers are anxious to retrieve the investment they made in training their employees.
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adjective opposite irretrievable
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: retrieve