AskDefine | Define retreat

Dictionary Definition



1 (military) withdrawal of troops to a more favorable position to escape the enemy's superior forces or after a defeat; "the disorderly retreat of French troops"
2 a place of privacy; a place affording peace and quiet
3 (military) a signal to begin a withdrawal from a dangerous position
4 (military) a bugle call signaling the lowering of the flag at sunset
5 an area where you can be alone [syn: hideaway]
6 withdrawal for prayer and study and meditation; "a religious retreat" [syn: retirement]


1 pull back or move away or backward; "The enemy withdrew"; "The limo pulled away from the curb" [syn: withdraw, pull away, draw back, recede, pull back, retire, move back]
2 move away, as for privacy; "The Pope retreats to Castelgondolfo every summer"
3 move back; "The glacier retrogrades" [syn: retrograde]
4 make a retreat from an earlier commitment or activity; "We'll have to crawfish out from meeting with him"; "He backed out of his earlier promise"; "The aggressive investment company pulled in its horns" [syn: pull back, back out, back away, crawfish, crawfish out, pull in one's horns, withdraw]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Middle English retret, from Old French retrait or retret (to draw back), from Latin retrahere (retract).



  1. The act of pulling back or withdrawing, as from something dangerous, or unpleasant.
  2. The act of reversing direction and receding from a forward position.
  3. A peaceful, quiet place affording privacy, or security.
  4. A period of retirement, seclusion, or solitude.
  5. A period of meditation, prayer or study
  6. Withdrawal by military force from a dangerous position or from enemy attack.
  7. A signal for a military withdrawal.
  8. A bugle call or drumbeat signaling the lowering of the flag at sunset, as on a military base.
  9. A military ceremony to lower the flag.


act of pulling back or withdrawing


  1. To withdraw military forces.


Extensive Definition

Retreat may refer to:

In music

Songs named "Retreat" include:
retreat in German: Retraite
retreat in French: Retraite

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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