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

  • transitive v. To cut down; reduce.
  • transitive v. To remove, delete, or omit.
  • intransitive v. To curtail expenses; economize.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cut down or reduce something
  • v. To dig or redig a trench where one already was.
  • v. To take up a new defensive position (from military term retrenchment)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To cause or suffer retrenchment; specifically, to cut down living expenses.
  • transitive v. To cut off; to pare away.
  • transitive v. To lessen; to abridge; to curtail.
  • transitive v. To confine; to limit; to restrict.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a retrenchment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cut off; pare away; prune.
  • To deprive by cutting off; mutilate.
  • To cut down; reduce in size, number, extent, or amount; curtail; diminish; lessen.
  • To cut short; abridge.
  • To limit; restrict.
  • Milit.: To furnish with a retrenchment or retrenchments.
  • To intrench.
  • To make a reduction in quantity, amount, or extent; especially, to curtail expenses; economize.
  • To trench; encroach; make inroads.

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

  • v. make a reduction, as in one's workforce
  • v. tighten one's belt; use resources carefully


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

Obsolete French retrencher, from Old French retrenchier : re-, re- + trenchier, to cut; see trench.


  • The word retrench has appeared in 15 Times articles over the past year, including in a June 11, 2009 article

    NYT > Home Page

  • And in your view, are you going to continue with a lot of your niche publications or do you think that you are going to retrench -- in other words, what are your plans for some of these publications? The Ad-Free Personal Finance Blogs Aggregator (real estate blogs)

  • And what concerns me is, is that the United States of America will become fatigued when it comes to fighting off tyrants, or say it's too hard to spread liberty, or use the excuse that just because freedom hadn't flourished in parts of the world, therefore it's not worth trying, and that, as a result, we kind of retrench and lose confidence in our -- the values that have made us a great nation in the first place.

    CNN Transcript Mar 14, 2008

  • Most prime customers simply retrench and deal with it, but I've had several conversations with subprime customers who know they are going to lose the house.

    Housing Market Uncertainties, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • In Asia, many central banks have been tightening policy to fight inflation, weighing on businesses just as key export markets retrench.

    Global Gloom Buffets Factories

  • After a long flight back to Arizona, the coaching staff decided to retrench with a back-to-basics practice approach after the team lost four of its final six games following a 7-3 start.

    Indignant Cards deck Falcons, prove they deserved a spot

  • WSJ Reporter Liz Rappaport reports moves by banks retrench by announcing layoffs and cutting costs across the board, including Credit Suisse and UBS.

    Greek Woes Hit Commerzbank

  • AMR insists it won't retrench from its five market hubs, but some analysts say its American Airlines will have to get smaller to thrive.

    What's News: Business & Finance

  • "As our competitors retrench, this creates additional opportunities for us to continue to take market share."

    Barclays Falls Short of Big Dreams

  • In environments of financial repression, businesses are keener to retrench than recommit their time, energy and capital to new projects.

    The 'Financial Repression' Trap


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