Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “retreat”

retreat

verb uk   /rɪˈtriːt/ us  

retreat verb (POSITION)

C2 [I often + adv/prep] to go away from a place or person in order to escape from fighting or danger: Attacks by enemy aircraft forced the tanks to retreat (from the city). When she came towards me shouting, I retreated (behind my desk). C2 [I] to go to a quiet safe place in order to avoid a difficult situation: When he's done something wrong, he retreats to his bedroom.

retreat verb (DECISION)

[I often + adv/prep] to decide not to do something, or to stop believing something, because it causes too many problems: The government is retreating from its promises.

retreat verb (PRICE)

[I] If a price retreats, it goes down after it has gone up: Wheat prices retreated after a two-day increase.

retreat

noun uk   /rɪˈtriːt/ us  

retreat noun (POSITION)

C2 [C usually singular, U] a move back by soldiers or an army, either because they have been defeated or in order to avoid fighting: the retreat from Dunkirk Enemy soldiers are now in (full) retreat. C2 [C] a private and safe place: a country/mountain/lakeside retreat [C or U] a period of time used to pray and study quietly, or to think carefully, away from normal activities and duties: We went on (a) retreat at/to a monastery in Wales.

retreat noun (DECISION)

[C] a change from previous beliefs or behaviour: The professor's speech marked/signalled a retreat from his usual extreme views.

retreat noun (PRICE)

[S or U] a situation in which the price of something goes down: Over the past few weeks we have seen the currency's big retreat from its historic high.
(Definition of retreat from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of retreat?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “retreat” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

see the light of day

When something sees the light of day, it appears for the first time.

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More