Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To moisten or soak (flax, for example) in order to soften and separate the fibers by partial rotting.
  • intransitive v. To become so moistened or soaked.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • abbr. retired
  • v. To prepare (flax, hemp etc.) for further processing by soaking, which facilitates separation of fibers from the woody parts of the stem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. See aret.
  • transitive v. To prepare for use, as flax, by separating the fibers from the woody part by process of soaking, macerating, and other treatment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To expose, as the gathered stems of fibrous plants, to moisture, in order, by partial fermentation or rotting, to facilitate the abstraction of the fiber.
  • To impute; ascribe.
  • A Middle English contraction of redeth (modern readeth).
  • n. The process of retting; retting.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. place (flax, hemp, or jute) in liquid so as to promote loosening of the fibers from the woody tissue

Etymologies

Middle English reten, probably from Middle Dutch reeten.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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