Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: retret, from retraire 'to withdraw', from Latin retrahere; RETRACT


2 noun
Related topics: Military, Religion

of an army

[uncountable and countable]PM a movement away from the enemy after a defeat in battle [≠ advance]:
Napoleon's retreat from Moscow
The rebel forces are in full retreat (=retreating very fast).
The bugler sounded the retreat (=gave a loud signal for retreat).

movement back

[singular,uncountable] a movement away from someone or something
retreat from
Ten thousand years ago the ice began its retreat from Scotland.

beat a retreat

informal to leave a place quickly:
I saw my aunt coming and beat a hasty retreat.

change of intention

[singular,uncountable] when you change your mind about something because your idea was unpopular or too difficult
retreat from
a retreat from hard-line policies


[countable] a place you can go to that is quiet or safe:
a country retreat

thought and prayer

[uncountable and countable]RR a period of time that you spend praying or studying religion in a quiet place
on (a) retreat
I spent three weeks on retreat in Scotland.


[singular,uncountable] technical a situation in which the value of shares etc falls to a lower level

Dictionary results for "retreat"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.