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withdraw, advance, approach, confront


TOEFL 5, Departure and Leaving, Endings and Transitions, Tactical Maneuvers and Control



How to pronounce retreat (audio)


Dictionary definition of retreat

To withdraw or move back from a particular place, situation, or engagement.
"The soldiers were ordered to retreat from the battlefield to regroup."

Detailed meaning of retreat

It typically involves the intentional retraction or backward movement from a position that was previously occupied or pursued. Retreat can signify various actions, such as physically moving away from a location, emotionally or mentally withdrawing from a challenging or stressful situation, or even shifting one's stance or position in a debate or argument. It often implies a deliberate decision to step back, regroup, or reassess one's approach in order to gain perspective, avoid conflict, or find a more advantageous position. Retreats can be undertaken for different reasons, such as self-preservation, strategic reevaluation, relaxation, meditation, or seeking solitude and reflection. Overall, the verb "retreat" signifies the intentional act of stepping back, withdrawing, or moving away from a specific place, circumstance, or engagement.

Example sentences containing retreat

1. I retreat to my favorite reading nook every evening.
2. The soldier chose to retreat from the battle to preserve his life.
3. She quickly retreats to her room when visitors arrive.
4. We should retreat from this argument before it gets out of hand.
5. The hiker decided to retreat to a safe spot as the storm approached.
6. He likes to retreat to the mountains for a peaceful getaway.

History and etymology of retreat

The verb 'retreat' has its etymological origins in the Middle English word 'retret,' which was borrowed from the Old French term 'retret,' meaning 'a withdrawal.' Old French, in turn, derived 'retret' from the Latin word 'retractus,' the past participle of 'retrahere.' In Latin, 're' signifies 'back,' and 'trahere' means 'to pull' or 'to draw.' Thus, 'retreat' etymologically signifies the action of pulling back or withdrawing from a particular place, situation, or engagement. This word has retained its fundamental meaning throughout its historical development, representing the act of moving away or withdrawing, often in response to unfavorable circumstances or as a strategic maneuver.

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Further usage examples of retreat

1. The company's profits continue to retreat due to increasing competition.
2. As the sun sets, the waves retreat from the sandy beach.
3. The shy child tends to retreat into their shell when faced with unfamiliar situations.
4. The team had no choice but to retreat when they realized they were outnumbered.
5. The politician decided to retreat from the controversial statement she made.
6. It's important to retreat to a quiet space when you need to clear your mind.
7. The army was forced to retreat under heavy enemy fire.
8. The animals retreat to their burrows during harsh winters.
9. She slowly retreats from the crowd, seeking solitude.
10. The market prices retreat as demand decreases.
11. We should retreat from the party before it gets too crowded.
12. The sound of gunfire made the frightened villagers retreat into their homes.
13. The government decided to retreat from their proposed tax increase.
14. The actress would often retreat to her trailer between scenes.

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