Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

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

retreat

2 noun
     
Related topics: Military, Religion
retreat2
1

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).
2

movement back

[singular,uncountable] a movement away from someone or something
retreat from
Ten thousand years ago the ice began its retreat from Scotland.
3

beat a retreat

informal to leave a place quickly:
I saw my aunt coming and beat a hasty retreat.
4

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
5

place

[countable] a place you can go to that is quiet or safe:
a country retreat
6

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.
7

finance

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

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