- to hold or keep in possession
- to keep in a fixed state or condition
- to continue to have or hold in: to retain heat
- to continue to practice, use, etc.
- to keep in mind
- to hire, or arrange in advance for the services of, by paying a retainer
- Educ. to require (a student who has failed) to repeat a grade in school
Origin of retainMiddle English reteynen from Old French retenir from Late Latin an unverified form retenere, for Classical Latin retinere from re-, back + tenere, to hold: see thin