definition of retainment by The Free Dictionary

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tr.v. re·tained, re·tain·ing, re·tains


a. To keep possession of; continue to have: The family sold the house but retained the land. See Synonyms at keep.

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).

[Middle English reteinen, from Old French retenir, from Latin retinēre : re-, re- + tenēre, to hold; see ten- in Indo-European roots.]

re·tain′a·bil′i·ty n.

re·tain′a·ble adj.

re·tain′ment n.

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.

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