There are 2 main definitions of retire in English:

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retire 1

Syllabification: re·tire
Pronunciation: /rəˈtī(ə)r/


1 [no object] Leave one’s job and cease to work, typically upon reaching the normal age for leaving employment: he retired from the navy in 1966
More example sentences
  • Fixed annuities help stabilize income from investments, and are most commonly used by people who are not fully participating in the workforce, are about to retire or have retired.
  • He had been a merchant seaman man and boy, covering some fifty years and he was so accustomed to shouting just to be heard that he couldn't stop doing it now that he'd retired.
  • Beginning with an instructorship at Yale in 1909, he taught on a full-time basis for 51 years until retiring in 1960 at the age of 80.
give up work, stop working, stop work;
pack it in, call it quits
1.1 [with object] Compel (an employee) to leave their job, especially before they have reached the normal age for leaving employment: the home office retired him
More example sentences
  • The question here is whether a transfer of property that extinguishes the trust by merging the beneficial and legal interest can in any sense be said to retire a trustee.
  • By retiring officers unfit for active service, this group attempted to revolutionize the navy's traditional system of promotion.
  • By and large, the throngs of steelworkers have been retired by computers and automated controls that now watch over every aspect of the steel-making process.
force to retire, give someone the golden handshake/parachute
1.2(Of an athlete) cease to play competitively: he retired from football several years ago
More example sentences
  • When a superstar retires, the price is based on his racetrack performance.
  • Bird was my favorite player and when he retired from basketball, I lost interest in the game.
  • Only the nobility were allowed to take part in jousting tournaments though Henry VIII had to retire from the sport as he was seriously injured in a jousting tournament in 1536.
1.3(Of an athlete) withdraw from a race or match, typically as a result of accident or injury: he was forced to retire to the bench [with complement]: Stewart retired hurt
More example sentences
  • The game turned out to be his last professional outing, as unnecessary injury problems forced yet another player to retire early.
  • A pity Shane had to retire through injury for the last quarter.
1.4 [with object] Baseball Put out (a batter); cause (a side) to end a turn at bat: the pitcher retired twelve batters in a row
More example sentences
  • But Budde settled down and retired the next three batters.
  • It requires retiring all twenty-seven batters in order, without allowing a single runner.
  • Scobie took the mound for the seventh, retiring the first batter.
1.5 [with object] Economics Withdraw (a bill or note) from circulation or currency.
Example sentences
  • Instead, Congress cranked up the printing press and called on the states to levy taxes to retire the bills.
  • Their issues of paper currency were retired at their original purchasing-power values; depreciation was not a serious problem.
1.6 Finance Pay off or cancel (a debt): the debt is to be retired from state gaming-tax receipts
More example sentences
  • When your clients are running late on their payments, it is unlikely that they will be able to retire the entire balance in one payment.
  • After the war ended in 1816, these taxes were repealed and instead a high tariff was passed to retire the accumulated war debt.
  • Most discussions of the surplus involve retirement of the publicly held debt, but once this debt has been retired, the surplus has to be redirected elsewhere.
2Withdraw to or from a particular place: she retired into the bathroom with her toothbrush
More example sentences
  • Later that evening after they had all finished their Christmas dinner, Sam retired to the window seat to read one of the new books she had gotten from Bryant.
  • At the outbreak of the Civil War he retired to Montgomery Castle and declined to become involved.
  • At half-past seven the onlookers had retired to safe positions five or six hundred yards away.
withdraw, go away, take oneself off, decamp, shut oneself away
formal repair
literary betake oneself
2.1(Of a military force) retreat from an enemy or an attacking position: lack of numbers compelled the cavalry to retire
More example sentences
  • The great black dragon was forced to retire from the fight.
  • To the north of Ypres the Germans, by employing a large quantity of asphyxiating bombs, the effect of which was felt for a distance of a mile and a quarter behind our lines, succeeded in forcing us to retire.
  • Yermati led a tactical retreat and the elves retired to their kingdom.
retreat, withdraw, pull back, fall back, disengage, back off, give ground
2.2 [with object] Order (a military force) to retreat: the general retired all his troops
More example sentences
  • From a military point of view, when you get into those situations, it makes sense to retire, withdraw, tactically or strategically, in order to reshape the war in a way that you can win it.
2.3(Of a jury) leave the courtroom to decide the verdict of a trial.
Example sentences
  • The trial continued the next day and the jury retired to consider their verdict.
  • The jury retires to consider its verdict - the jurors go into the jury room.
  • After three days of courtroom arguments, the 12 men of the jury retire to decide if the boy is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
2.4Go to bed: everyone retired early that night
More example sentences
  • MaryAnn wasn't worried about Lizzie because Lizzie rarely had plans for a Saturday night and usually retired early.
  • The music started to die down, and the king announced for everyone to retire for the night.
  • Late that night, after everyone had retired, I sat up in bed, listening to the chirps of the night creatures.
go to bed, call it a day, go to sleep
informal turn in, hit the hay, hit the sack


Example sentences
  • Mr Proffitt added: ‘We will continue to develop our programme which is aimed at showing early retirers the many opportunities which are available to them, now they have more time.’
  • ‘Then there are the ‘reticent retirers’ who, on finding themselves stuck at home with a partner every day, are quite likely to escape back into the workforce.
  • Already there seems to be considerable discrimination against older people in the jobs market and it's no good going on about late retirement if employers aren't going to give jobs to the late retirers.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'withdraw (to a place of safety or seclusion)'): from French retirer, from re- 'back' + tirer 'draw'.

  • This was first used in the sense ‘withdraw (to a place of safety or seclusion)’. French retirer is the source, from re- ‘back’ and tirer ‘draw’. The sense ‘withdraw from a job’ is late 17th century.

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There are 2 main definitions of retire in English:

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retiré 2 Syllabification: re·ti·ré
Pronunciation: /rəˌtēˈrā/

noun (plural same)

A movement in which one leg is bent and raised at right angles to the body until the toe is in line with the knee of the supporting leg.
Example sentences
  • The orchestra stopped, and she continued to stay on pointe; sometimes moving from retiré into a la seconde, sometimes from retiré into arabesque.
  • Put your hands on your shoulders or hips and just turn from the force of pushing up out of the demi plié and the working leg turning out as you place it into retiré and begin the turn.


French, literally 'drawn back'.

Definition of retire in:
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