Return definition

rĭ-tûrn
To answer or respond.

I said hello to him, and he returned in kind.

verb
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To revert to a former owner.
verb
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To go or come back, as to an earlier condition or place.

She returned to her office after lunch.

verb
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To send, put, or carry back.

We return bottles to the store.

verb
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To revert in speech, thought, or practice.

I returned to my knitting after answering the phone.

verb
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To revert to a former owner.
verb
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To return is defined as to go back to someone or something, or to put something back.

An example of to return is life going back to normal after a chaotic event.

An example of to return is someone bringing a borrowed item back to the owner.

verb
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To produce or yield (profit or interest) as a payment for labor, investment, or expenditure.
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To elect or reelect, as to a legislative body.
verb
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(games) To respond to (a partner's lead) by leading the same suit in cards.
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(architecture) To turn away from or place at an angle to the previous line of direction.
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To give or send back in reciprocation.

She returned his praise.

verb
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To give back to the owner.

He returned her book.

verb
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To reflect or send back.

The echo was returned by the canyon wall.

verb
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To submit (an official report, for example) to a judge or other person in authority.
verb
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To render or deliver (a writ or verdict, for example) to the proper officer or court of law.
verb
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(sports) To hit or send back (a tennis ball, for example) to one's opponent.
verb
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(football) To run with (the ball) after a kickoff, punt, interception, or fumble.
verb
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A recurrence, as of a periodic occasion or event.

The return of spring.

noun
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Something exchanged for that received; repayment.
noun
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A reply; a response.
noun
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(games) A lead in certain card games that responds to the lead of one's partner.
noun
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(sports) In tennis and certain other sports:
  • The act of hitting or sending the ball back to one's opponent.
  • The ball thus sent back.
noun
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(chiefly british) A roundtrip ticket.
noun
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A formal tax statement on the required official form indicating taxable income, allowed deductions, exemptions, and the computed tax that is due.
noun
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The act or condition of going, coming, bringing, or sending back.

After my return, we can discuss this matter further.

noun
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The act of bringing or sending something back to a previous place, condition, or owner.

The late return of a library book.

noun
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Something brought or sent back.
noun
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Merchandise returned, as to a retailer by a consumer or to a wholesaler by a retailer.
noun
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Something that goes or comes back.
noun
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The profit made on an exchange of goods.
noun
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A profit or yield, as from labor or investments.
noun
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Output or yield per unit rather than cost per unit, as in the manufacturing of a particular product.
noun
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A report, list, or set of statistics, especially one that is formal or official.
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A report on the vote in an election.
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(chiefly british) An election.
noun
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The act of running back the ball after a kickoff, punt, interception, or fumble.
noun
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The yardage so gained.
noun
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The extension of a molding, projection, or other part at an angle (usually 90°) to the main part.
noun
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A part of a building set at an angle to the façade.
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A turn, bend, or similar reversal of direction, as in a stream or road.
noun
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A pipe or conduit for carrying something, especially water, back to its starting point.
noun
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The key or mechanism on a machine, such as a typewriter, that positions the carriage or printing element at the beginning of a new line.
noun
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A key on a computer keyboard or keypad used to begin a new line or paragraph in a text editor.
noun
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The bringing or sending back of a writ, subpoena, or other document, generally with a short written report on it, by a sheriff or other officer to the court from which it was issued.
noun
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A certified report by an assessor, election officer, collector, or other official.
noun
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Of, relating to, or bringing about a going or coming back to a place or situation.

The return voyage; a return envelope.

adjective
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Given, sent, or done in reciprocation or exchange.

A return volley; a return invitation.

adjective
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Performed, presented, or taking place again.

A return engagement of the ballet; a return tennis match.

adjective
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Returning or affording return or recirculation.

A return plumbing pipe; a return valve.

adjective
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Having or formed by a reversal or change in direction; returning on itself, as a bend in a road or stream.
adjective
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To go or come back, as to a former place, condition, practice, opinion, etc.
verb
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To go back in thought or speech.

To return to the subject.

verb
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To answer; reply; retort.
verb
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To bring, send, carry, or put back; restore or replace.
verb
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To give, send, or do (something equivalent to what has been given, sent, or done); give, send, or do in requital or reciprocation.

To return a visit, compliment, etc.

verb
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To produce (a profit, revenue, etc.); yield.
verb
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To elect or reelect, as to a legislature.
verb
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To replace (a weapon) in its holder.
verb
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To turn back or in the opposite direction.
verb
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To reflect (sound, light, etc.)
verb
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(archit.) To turn away from, or cause to continue on at an angle to, the previous line of direction.
verb
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(card games) To respond to (one's partner's lead) with a lead of the same suit.
verb
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(law) To render (a verdict)
verb
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(sports) To hit, throw, or run back (a ball)
verb
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To report or announce officially or formally.
verb
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To turn in (a writ, account, or statement) to a judge or other official.
verb
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A coming or going back, as to a former place, condition, etc.
noun
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A bringing, sending, carrying, or putting back; restoration or replacement.
noun
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A coming back again; reappearance; recurrence.

Many happy returns of the day.

noun
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An answer; reply; retort.
noun
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A report.
  • An official or formal report, as of the financial condition of a company.
  • A report on a count of votes at polling places.
    Election returns.
  • A form on which taxable income is reported and tax is computed.
noun
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(card games) A lead in response to one's partner's lead.
noun
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Something returned.
noun
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Unsold merchandise returned to the distributor by a retailer or merchandise returned to a retailer by a purchaser.
noun
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Profit made on an exchange of goods.
noun
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Yield, profit, or revenue, as from labor, investments, etc.
noun
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Yield per unit as compared to cost per unit; rate of yield.
noun
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The continuation, as of a molding or colonnade, in a different direction, often at a right angle.
noun
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A bend or turn, as in a line or wall.
noun
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The section between two such bends.
noun
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The bringing or sending back of a writ, subpoena, summons, etc. to the proper court or official.
noun
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A certified report by an election official, assessor, etc.
noun
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A court officer's endorsement on any such document.
noun
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A hitting or throwing back of a ball.
noun
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A ball so returned.
noun
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A running back of a football received on a kick or by an interception.
noun
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Of or for a return or returning.

Return postage.

adjective
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Given, sent, done, etc. in return.

A return match.

adjective
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Occurring again.

A return performance.

adjective
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Returning or returned.
adjective
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Changing or reversing direction or formed by a change or reversal in direction, as a bend in a road.
adjective
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An officer of the court’s bringing back a court-issued document, such as a writ, and reporting how the officer had done or why he had not done what that document had ordered.
noun
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An income tax return.
noun
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(intransitive) To come or go back (to a place or person).

Although the birds fly north for the summer, they return here in winter.

verb
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(intransitive) To go back in thought, narration, or argument.

To return to my story [...]

verb
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To put (place) something back where it had been.

Please return your hands to your lap.

verb
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To give something back to its original holder or owner.

You should return the library book within one month.

verb
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To take something back to a retailer for a refund.

If the goods don't work, you can return them.

verb
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To give in requital or recompense; to requite.
verb
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(tennis) To bat the ball back over the net in response to a serve.

The player couldn't return the serve because it was so fast.

verb
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(card games) To play a card as a result of another player's lead.

If one players plays a trump, the others must return a trump.

verb
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(cricket) To throw a ball back to the wicket-keeper (a fielder at that position) from somewhere in the field.
verb
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To say in reply; to respond.

To return an answer; to return thanks.

verb
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(intransitive, computing) To relinquish control to the calling procedure.
verb
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(computing) To pass (data) back to the calling procedure.

This function returns the number of files in the directory.

verb
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(dated) To retort; to throw back.

To return the lie.

verb
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To report, or bring back and make known.

To return the result of an election.

verb
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(by extension, UK) To elect according to the official report of the election officers.
verb
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The act of returning.

I expect the house to be spotless upon my return.

noun
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A return ticket.

Do you want a one-way or a return?

noun
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An item that is returned, e.g. due to a defect.

Last year there were 250 returns of this product, an improvement on the 500 returns the year before.

noun
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(finance) Gain or loss from an investment.

It yielded a return of 5%.

noun
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(taxation, finance): A report of income submitted to a government for purposes of specifying exact tax payment amounts. A tax return.

Hand in your return by the end of the tax year.

noun
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(computing) A carriage return character.
noun
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(computing) The act of relinquishing control to the calling procedure.
noun
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(computing) A return value: the data passed back from a called procedure.
noun
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A short perpendicular extension of a desk, usually slightly lower.
noun
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(American football) Catching a ball after a punt and running it back towards the opposing team.
noun
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(cricket) A throw from a fielder to the wicket-keeper or to another fielder at the wicket.
noun
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Reversing or changing direction.
adjective
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Something done or given as an equivalent for that received; repayment; requital; reciprocation.
noun
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in return
  • In repayment or reciprocation.
idiom
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in return
  • as a return; as an equivalent, response, etc.
idiom
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
return
Plural:
returns

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of return

  • Middle English retornen from Old French retourner from Vulgar Latin retornāre Latin re- re- Latin tornāre to turn in a lathe turn

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English returnen, retornen, from Anglo-Norman returner, from Old French retourner, retorner, from Medieval Latin retornare (“to turn back"), from re- + tornare (“to turn"). Compare beturn.

    From Wiktionary