RETRE'AT, n. [L. retractus, retraho; re and traho.] 1. The act of retiring; a withdrawing of one's self from any place. But beauty's triumph is well tim'd retreat. 2. Retirement; state of privacy or seclusion from noise, bustle or company. Here in the calm still mirror of retreat. 3. Place of retirement or privacy. He built his son a house of pleasure - and spared no cost to make it a delicious retreat. 4. Place of safety or security. That pleasing shade they sought, a soft retreat from sudden April show'rs, a shelter from the heat. 5. In military affairs, the retiring of an army or body of men from the face of an enemy or from any ground occupied to a greater distance from the enemy, or from an advanced position. A retreat is properly an orderly march, in which circumstance it differs from a flight. 6. The withdrawing of a ship or fleet from an enemy; or the order and disposition of ships declining an engagement. 7. The beat of the drum at the firing of the evening gun, to warn soldiers to forbear firing and the sentinels to challenge. RETRE'AT, v.i. 1. To retire from any position or place. 2. To withdraw to a private abode or to any secluded situation. 3. To retire to a place of safety or security; as, to retreat into a den or into a fort. 4. To move back to a place before occupied; to retire. The rapid currents drive, towards the retreating sea, their furious tide. 5. To retire from an enemy or from any advanced position.
I. nounEtymology: Middle English retret, from Anglo-French retrait, from past participle of retraire to withdraw, from Latin retrahere, from re- + trahere to draw Date: 14th century 1.a.(1) an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable (2) the process of receding from a position or state attained <the retreat of a glacier> <the slow retreat of an epidemic> b.(1) the usually forced withdrawal of troops from an enemy or from an advanced position (2) a signal for retreating c.(1) a signal given by bugle at the beginning of a military flag-lowering ceremony (2) a military flag-lowering ceremony 2. a place of privacy or safety ;refuge3. a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director <a spiritual retreat> <a corporate retreat> II. verbDate: 15th century intransitive verb1. to make a retreat ;withdraw2. to slope backward transitive verb to draw or lead back ;remove; specifically to move (a piece) back in chess Synonyms:seerecede • retreaternoun
v. & n. --v. 1 a intr. (esp. of military forces) go back, retire; relinquish a position. b tr. cause to retreat; move back. 2 intr. (esp. of features) recede; slope back. --n. 1 a the act or an instance of retreating. b Mil. a signal for this. 2 withdrawal into privacy or security. 3 a place of shelter or seclusion. 4 a period of seclusion for prayer and meditation. 5 Mil. a bugle-call at sunset. 6 a place for the reception of the elderly or others in need of care. Etymology: ME f. OF retret (n.), retraiter (v.) f. L retrahere: see RETRACT
Retreat Re*treat", n. [F. retraite, fr. retraire to withdraw, L. retrahere; pref. re- re- + trahere to draw. See Trace, and cf. Retract, Retrace.] 1. The act of retiring or withdrawing one's self, especially from what is dangerous or disagreeable. In a retreat he o?truns any lackey. --Shak. 2. The place to which anyone retires; a place or privacy or safety; a refuge; an asylum. He built his son a house of pleasure, and spared no cost to make a delicious retreat. --L'Estrange. That pleasing shade they sought, a soft retreat From sudden April showers, a shelter from the heat. --Dryden. 3. (Mil. & Naval.) (a) The retiring of an army or body of men from the face of an enemy, or from any ground occupied to a greater distance from the enemy, or from an advanced position. (b) The withdrawing of a ship or fleet from an enemy for the purpose of avoiding an engagement or escaping after defeat. (c) A signal given in the army or navy, by the beat of a drum or the sounding of trumpet or bugle, at sunset (when the roll is called), or for retiring from action. Note: A retreat is properly an orderly march, in which circumstance it differs from a flight. 4. (Eccl.) (a) A special season of solitude and silence to engage in religious exercises. (b) A period of several days of withdrawal from society to a religious house for exclusive occupation in the duties of devotion; as, to appoint or observe a retreat. Syn: Retirement; departure; withdrawment; seclusion; solitude; privacy; asylum; shelter; refuge.
Retreat Re*treat", v. i. [imp. & p. p. Retreated; p. pr. & vb. n. Retreating.] To make a retreat; to retire from any position or place; to withdraw; as, the defeated army retreated from the field. The rapid currents drive Towards the retreating sea their furious tide. --Milton.
(retreats, retreating, retreated)Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English. 1. If you retreat, you move away from something or someone. 'I've already got a job,' I said quickly, and retreated from the room...VERB: V prep, also V 2. When an army retreats, it moves away from enemy forces in order to avoid fighting them. The French, suddenly outnumbered, were forced to retreat...VERB: V • Retreat is also a noun. In June 1942, the British 8th Army was in full retreat.N-VAR 3. If you retreatfrom something such as a plan or a way of life, you give it up, usually in order to do something safer or less extreme. I believe people should live in houses that allow them to retreat from the harsh realities of life...VERB: V from/into n • Retreat is also a noun. The President's remarks appear to signal that there will be no retreat from his position...N-VAR: usu N from/into n 4. A retreat is a quiet, isolated place that you go to in order to rest or to do things in private. He spent yesterday hidden away in his country retreat.N-COUNT: oft supp N 5. If you beat a retreat, you leave a place quickly in order to avoid an embarrassing or dangerous situation. Cockburn decided it was time to beat a hasty retreat.PHRASE: V inflects