English dictionary

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English verb: retain

1. retain (stative) hold back within

SamplesThis soil retains water.
I retain this drug for a long time.
The dam retains the water.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)bear, carry, contain, hold

2. retain (social) allow to remain in a place or position or maintain a property or feature

SamplesWe cannot continue several servants any longer.
She retains a lawyer.
The family's fortune waned and they could not keep their household staff.
Our grant has run out and we cannot keep you on.
We kept the work going as long as we could.
She retained her composure.
This garment retains its shape even after many washings.

Synonymscontinue, keep, keep on

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)keep up, prolong, sustain

Verb groupcontinue, persist in

3. retain (possession) secure and keep for possible future use or application

SamplesThe landlord retained the security deposit.
I reserve the right to disagree.

Synonymshold, hold back, keep back

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)hold on, keep

Narrower (hyponym)hold down

4. retain (cognition) keep in one's mind

SamplesI cannot retain so much information.

ExamplesThey won't retain the story

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)remember, think of

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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