verb (rets, retting, retted)[with object]
Soak (flax or hemp) in water to soften it: the flax has been retted and used as linen to produce the fabric
More example sentences
- Under old methods, hemp was cut and allowed to lie in the fields for weeks until it retted enough so the fiber could be pulled off by hand.
- Flax was grown in the country districts, ‘retted’ and ‘heckled’ in small ponds and mills, spun and woven in the single-storey ‘improved’ cottages of the villages.
late Middle English: related to Dutch reten, also to rot.
Definition of ret in:
- The US English dictionary