retain Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “retain” in the English Dictionary

"retain" in British English

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retainverb [T]

uk   us   /rɪˈteɪn/
C2 formal to ​keep or ​continue to have something: She has ​lost her ​battle to retain control of the ​company. He ​managed to retain his ​dignitythroughout the ​performance. She ​succeeded in retaining her ​lead in the second ​half of the ​race. I have a good ​memory and am ​able to retain (= ​remember)factseasily. formal If a ​substance retains something, such as ​heat or ​water, it ​continues to ​hold or ​contain it: The ​sea retains the sun's ​warmthlonger than the ​land.
See also
specialized law to get the ​services of a ​lawyer by ​paying them before you need them

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of retain from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"retain" in American English

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retainverb [T]

 us   /rɪˈteɪn/
to ​keep or ​continue to have something: Francis retained ​control of the ​company. His ​capacity to retain (= ​remember)facts was as ​keen as ​ever, but he had ​troubleremembering people’s ​names.
(Definition of retain from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"retain" in Business English

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retainverb [T]

uk   us   /rɪˈteɪn/
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 ​legalaction 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 ​minoritystake in the ​company.retain your job/post Atkinson retained his ​post in the ​enlargedbankinggroup.
HR to continue to ​employpeople in a ​company or ​organization: retain staff/talent/employees We will retain all of the ​employeescurrentlyemployed at the ​plant. Companies will ​achieve a ​competitiveadvantage by attracting and retaining the best ​talent. Recruiting and retaining good ​staff will be among his ​toppriorities.
MANAGEMENT, HR to ​employ a ​lawyer, consultant (= someone ​paid to give ​expertadvice 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.
(Definition of retain from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“retain” in Business English

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