› to keep or continue to have something, especially a position or money, or control of something: Salespeople have developed novel ways to use the Web to reach or retain customers. You retain the right to take legal action if you do not accept his decision.retain control/ownership/possession The group will retain control of the business.retain a stake/an interest The family retains a minority stake in the company.retain your job/post Atkinson retained his post in the enlarged banking group.
› HR to continue to employ people in a company or organization: retain staff/talent/employees We will retain all of the employees currently employed at the plant. Companies will achieve a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining the best talent. Recruiting and retaining good staff will be among his top priorities.
› MANAGEMENT, HR to employ a lawyer, consultant (= someone paid to give expert advice or training), etc. by paying them before you need them: The contractor had failed to disclose that he had retained an outside lobbyist. Smith had retained a lawyer and filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.retain sb as sth Van Hellemond resigned, though the NHL has retained him as a consultant.
› to keep a record, document, etc. that might be needed in the future: The office must retain all e-mails pertaining to audits for at least 11 years. He said he protected himself by retaining all the records on the project. Please retain your receipt for future reference.