b. To keep in a particular place or condition: a library that retains the author’s papers; plants that retain a lot of water.
c. To continue to have as a feature or aspect: retains his good humor after all the setbacks.
2. To keep in mind; remember: retains the songs she learned in childhood.
3. To require (a student) to repeat a class or grade because of insufficient educational progress to advance.
a. To keep in one’s service or pay: retain employees on a workforce.
b. To hire (an attorney, for example) by the payment of a fee.
c. To hire someone for (his or her services).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.