Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “retreat”

See all translations

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.
More examples

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.
More examples

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

nation

a country, especially when thought of as a large group of people living in one area with their own government, language, traditions, etc.

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More