Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: retenir, from Latin retinere, from tenere 'to hold'

retain

verb
     
reā€§tain S2 W2 [transitive] formal
1 to keep something or continue to have something:
You have the right to retain possession of the goods.
The state wants to retain control of food imports.
2 to store or keep something inside something else:
A lot of information can be retained in your computer.
Limestone is known to retain moisture.
3 to remember information:
I find it very difficult to retain facts.
4 if you retain a lawyer or other specialist, you pay them to work for you now and in the future:
He has retained a lawyer to challenge the court's decision.
We had to pay a retaining fee (=an amount of money to keep someone working for you).
5 if a company retains workers, it continues to employ them for a long time:
It's increasingly difficult to recruit and retain good staff.

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