From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishldoce_745_zreturnre‧turn1 /rɪˈtɜːn $ -ɜːrn/ ●●● S2 W1 verb 🔊 🔊 1 go back [intransitive]RETURN to go or come back to a place where you were before syn go back, come back 🔊 It was forty five minutes before she returned.return to 🔊 Are you planning to return to Spain?return from 🔊 I have just returned from five months in Zimbabwe. 🔊 Alison decided to return home. 🔊 He left his country, never to return.RegisterIn everyday English, people usually say come back (=return to the place where the speaker is) or go back (=return to a different place from where the speaker is), rather than return: It was forty five minutes before she came back.Are you planning to go back to Spain?2 give back [transitive]GIVE to give or send something back, or to put something back in its place syn give back, put backreturn something to something/somebody 🔊 Carson returned the notebook to his pocket. 🔊 I returned the books to the library unread. 🔊 Please complete the enclosed application form and return it in the envelope attached.RegisterIn everyday English, people usually say that they take something back, put it back, or bring it back, rather than return it: He put the key back in his pocket.Did you take the books back to the library?3 feeling/situation [intransitive]START TO HAPPEN, EXIST ETC if a feeling, situation etc returns, it starts to exist or happen again syn come back 🔊 If the pain returns, take two of the tablets with some water. 🔊 David could feel his anger returning.return to 🔊 when peace finally returns to this countryRegister In everyday English, people usually say that a feeling comes back rather than returns:I’m worried that the pain will come back.4 do the same [transitive]DOGIVE to do something to someone because they have done the same thing to you 🔊 He smiled at her warmly and she returned his smile. 🔊 I phoned him twice on Friday and left messages, but he never returned my call (=he didn’t phone me). 🔊 Thanks very much. I’ll return the favour (=do something to help you) some day. 🔊 The police did not return fire (=shoot back at someone who shot at them).5 answer [transitive] written to answer someone 🔊 ‘Yes, ’ he returned. ‘I’m a lucky man.’6 ball [transitive]DS to hit the ball back to your opponent in a game such as tennis7 elect [transitive] British EnglishPPV to elect someone to a political position, especially to represent you in parliamentbe returned to something 🔊 Yeo was returned to Parliament with an increased majority.be returned as something 🔊 At the election, she was returned as MP for Brighton. Grammar Return is usually passive in this meaning.8 → return a verdict9 profit [transitive]BF to make a profit 🔊 The group returned increased profits last year.GRAMMAR: Patterns with return• You return to a place: The writer returned to his home town many years later.Hardy returned to his house in the country. ✗Don’t say: The writer returned his home town. | Hardy returned his house. • You return home: When she returned home that night, there was a letter for her. ✗Don’t say: when she returned to homeCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 4: to do something to someone because they have done the same thing to younounsreturn somebody’s call (=phone someone who phoned you)I left a message but he hasn't returned my call.return somebody’s gaze/stareShe kept her eyes fixed on the floor, refusing to return his gaze.return somebody’s smileMark returned her smile.return somebody’s love/feelings (=love someone who loves you)Sadly, she could never return his love.return the favour (=help someone who helped you)Thanks a lot. I hope I'll be able to return the favour.return fire (=shoot back at someone)One plane opened fire on the American aircraft, which immediately returned fire.THESAURUSreturn to go back or come back to a place where you were before. Return sounds more formal than go back or come back, and is more commonly used in written EnglishShe returned to the hotel hoping to find a message.Alastair returned from the office late that night.On Friday, I returned home around six o'clock.go back to go to the place where you were before, or to the place where you usually liveIt’s cold out here – shall we go back inside?When are you going back to Japan?go home to go to your home again, or to the country where you were born, after you have been away from itI did a bit of shopping and then went home.Are you going home to Hong Kong when the course finishes?come back to come to the place where you are again, after going away from itI’ll be away for two days – coming back on Thursday night.He’s just come back from a vacation in Miami.get back to arrive somewhere where you were before, especially your home or the place where you are stayingWe got back at about 9 o'clock.She couldn’t wait to get back to London.turn back to turn around and go back in the direction you came fromWe took the wrong road and had to turn back.He ordered the soldiers to turn back and march south. → return to something→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusreturn• It was a bright, hot day when she returned.• Juries represent the racial attitudes of the communities from which they came and to which they will return.• Their investment list returned a profit of 34% last year.• You must return all your library books before the end of the year.• Only 96 Conservative MPs were returned at the last election.• Alastair returned from the office late that night.• As the soldiers returned home, their wives had to readjust to living with them again.• He returned in the early 1970s and went into business.• And if you don't like your purchase, you can return it for a refund.• If there is a problem with the computer, you can return it to the store.• Twenty minutes later he returned, shaking his head in a universal gesture.• If the pain returns, take two of the tablets every four hours.• Sign and keep the top sheet, and return the blue sheet to the office.• Johnson carefully returned the document to its hiding place.• I left early, but promised to return the next day.• Penny has still not returned the office keys.• Return the pan to the heat and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes.• I'm going to return these shoes - they're a little tight.• I've got to go by Blockbuster and return those tapes.• He had to return to India to look after his mother.• After a week it was to be returned to its owner.• I tell her how excited I am to return to Oki for Obon.• Since moving out of the unprofitable world of defence, Trend has returned to profits of £900,000.• After loading up he will return to Save.• Since the end of the war, many of the paintings have been found and returned to their rightful owners.• Your passport will be returned to you when you check out of your hotel.never to return• Many of the villagers will leave, never to return.• An entire society was uprooted and destroyed, vanishing into the high mountains never to return.• At first it seemed that something had been lost, never to return.• Having gained release from the imperfections of this world, they have left it, never to return.• Her eyebrows had been severely plucked in her youth, never to return.• Let us leave the allotment now, depart for ever, never to return.• On the basis of that petty insult, Pick stormed out of the negotiations, never to return.• She wanted to leave it then, never to return.• Unable to bear the humiliation, one night he broke the chain and ran away, never to return.return fire• Police took cover in combat positions but did not return fire.• The troops returned fire and then retreated.• The Royal Engineers did not return fire and were let through.• They returned fire before breaking off the engagement.• So successful was the tactic that the return fire from the Dragoons passed over their heads without inflicting a single casualty.• The return fire from the invisible Charlies was more intense as we got closer.• When the other side has returned fire, however, Mrs Clinton and her husband have complained of ill use.• Our tanks and tracks kept going a little bit and stopped to return fire immediately.• During my first attack I experienced some very inaccurate return fire which ceased just before I broke away.