- Retain is defined as to keep, hold on to or keep in place.
- An example of retain is to keep a prized possession from childhood.
- An example of retain is for mouth-gear to keep the teeth in place.
retain definition by Webster's New World
- 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
Origin: Middle English reteynen ; from Old French retenir ; from Late Latin an unverified form retenere, for Classical Latin retinere ; from re-, back plush tenere, to hold: see thin
retain definition by American Heritage Dictionary
transitive verb re·tained, re·tain·ing, re·tains
- To maintain possession of. See Synonyms at keep.
- To keep or hold in a particular place, condition, or position.
- To keep in mind; remember.
- To hire (an attorney, for example) by the payment of a fee.
- To keep in one's service or pay.
Origin: Middle English retainen, from Old French retenir, from Latin retinēre : re-, re- + tenēre, to hold; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
- re·tainˌa·bilˈi·ty noun
- re·tainˈa·ble adjective
- re·tainˈment noun