• The act of pulling back or withdrawing, as from something dangerous, or unpleasant.
  • The act of reversing direction and receding from a forward position.
  • A peaceful, quiet place affording privacy or security.
  • A peaceful, quiet place in which to urinate and defecate: an outhouse; a lavatory.
  • A period of retirement, seclusion, or solitude.
  • A period of meditation, prayer or study.
  • Withdrawal by military force from a dangerous position or from enemy attack.
  • A signal for a military withdrawal.
  • A bugle call or drumbeat signaling the lowering of the flag at sunset, as on a military base.
  • A military ceremony to lower the flag.
  • The move of a piece from a threatened position.



  • From Middle English retret, from Old French retrait or retret, from Latin retractus, from retraho. retract.
  • re- + treat

Modern English dictionary

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