from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To maintain possession of. See Synonyms at keep.
- transitive v. To keep or hold in a particular place, condition, or position.
- transitive v. To keep in mind; remember.
- transitive v. To hire (an attorney, for example) by the payment of a fee.
- transitive v. To keep in one's service or pay.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To keep in possession or use.
- v. To keep in one's pay or service.
- v. To employ by paying a retainer.
- v. To hold secure.
- v. To belong; to pertain.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To continue to hold; to keep in possession; not to lose, part with, or dismiss; to restrain from departure, escape, or the like.
- transitive v. To keep in pay; to employ by a preliminary fee paid; to hire; to engage.
- transitive v. To restrain; to prevent.
- intransitive v. To belong; to pertain.
- intransitive v. To keep; to continue; to remain.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To hold back; restrain; hinder from action, departure, or escape; keep back; detain.
- To hold or keep in possession; reserve as one's own.
- To continue in the use or practice of; preserve; keep up; keep from dying out: as, to retain a custom; to retain an appearance of youth.
- To keep in mind; preserve a knowledge or idea of; remember.
- To keep in pay; hire; take into service; especially, to engage by the payment of a preliminary fee: as, to retain counsel.
- To entertain.
- =Syn. 2–4. Reserve, Preserve, etc. See keep.
- To keep on: continue.
- To pertain; belong; be a dependent or retainer.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. keep in one's mind
- v. hold back within
- v. secure and keep for possible future use or application
- v. allow to remain in a place or position or maintain a property or feature
Middle English retainen, from Old French retenir, from Latin retinēre : re-, re- + tenēre, to hold; see ten- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French retenir, from Vulgar Latin *retinō, retinīre, from Latin retinō, retinere, from Latin re- + teneō, tenere ("to hold") (Wiktionary)