Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Retort transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Retorted ; present participle & verbal noun Retorting .] [ Latin retortus , past participle of retorquere ; prefix re- re- + torquere to turn twist. See Torsion , and confer Retort , noun , 2.]
1. To bend or curve back; as, a retorted line.

With retorted head, pruned themselves as they floated.
Southey.

2. To throw back; to reverberate; to reflect.

As when his virtues, shining upon others,
Heat them and they retort that heat again
To the first giver.
Shak.

3. To return, as an argument, accusation, censure, or incivility; as, to retort the charge of vanity.

And with retorted scorn his back he turned.
Milton.

Retort intransitive verb To return an argument or a charge; to make a severe reply. Pope.

Retort noun [ See Retort , transitive verb ]
1. The return of, or reply to, an argument, charge, censure, incivility, taunt, or witticism; a quick and witty or severe response.

This is called the retort courteous.
Shak.

2. [ French retorte (cf. Spanish retorta ), from Latin retortus , past participle of retorquere . So named from its bent shape. See Retort , transitive verb ] (Chem. & the Arts) A vessel in which substances are subjected to distillation or decomposition by heat. It is made of different forms and materials for different uses, as a bulb of glass with a curved beak to enter a receiver for general chemical operations, or a cylinder or semicylinder of cast iron for the manufacture of gas in gas works.

Tubulated retort (Chemistry) , a retort having a tubulure for the introduction or removal of the substances which are to be acted upon.

Syn. -- Repartee; answer. -- Retort , Repartee . A retort is a short and pointed reply, turning back on an assailant the arguments, censure, or derision he had thrown out. A repartee is usually a good-natured return to some witty or sportive remark.

Retorter noun One who retorts.

Retortion noun [ Confer French rétorsion . See Retort , transitive verb ]
1. Act of retorting or throwing back; reflection or turning back. [ Written also retorsion .]

It was, however, necessary to possess some single term expressive of this intellectual retortion .
Sir W. Hamilton.

2. (Law) Retaliation. Wharton.

Retortive adjective Containing retort.

Retoss transitive verb To toss back or again.

Retouch transitive verb [ Prefix re- + touch : confer French retoucher .]
1. To touch again, or rework, in order to improve; to revise; as, to retouch a picture or an essay.

2. (Photog.) To correct or change, as a negative, by handwork.

Retouch noun (Fine Arts) A partial reworking,as of a painting, a sculptor's clay model, or the like.

Retoucher noun One who retouches.

Retrace transitive verb [ Prefix re- + trace : confer French retracer . Confer Retract .]
1. To trace back, as a line.

Then if the line of Turnus you retrace ,
He springs from Inachus of Argive race.
Driden.

2. To go back, in or over (a previous course); to go over again in a reverse direction; as, to retrace one's steps; to retrace one's proceedings.

3. To trace over again, or renew the outline of, as a drawing; to draw again.

Retract (re*trākt") transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Retracted ; present participle & verbal noun Retracting .] [ French rétracter , Latin retractare , retractatum , to handle again, reconsider, retract, from retrahere , retractum , to draw back. See Retreat .]
1. To draw back; to draw up or shorten; as, the cat can retract its claws; to retract a muscle.

2. To withdraw; to recall; to disavow; to recant; to take back; as, to retract an accusation or an assertion.

I would as freely have retracted this charge of idolatry as I ever made it.
Bp. Stillingfleet.

3. To take back,, as a grant or favor previously bestowed; to revoke. [ Obsolete] Woodward.

Syn. -- To recall; withdraw; rescind; revoke; unsay; disavow; recant; abjure; disown.

Retract intransitive verb
1. To draw back; to draw up; as, muscles retract after amputation.

2. To take back what has been said; to withdraw a concession or a declaration.

She will, and she will not; she grants, denies,
Consents, retracts , advances, and then files.
Granville.

Retract noun (Far.) The pricking of a horse's foot in nailing on a shoe.

Retractable (-ȧ*b'l) adjective [ Confer French rétractable .] Capable of being retracted; retractile.

Retractate transitive verb [ Latin retractatus , past participle of retractare . See Retract .] To retract; to recant. [ Obsolete]

Retractation noun [ Confer French rétractation , Latin retractatio a revision, reconsideration. ] The act of retracting what has been said; recantation.

Retractible adjective Retractable.

Retractile adjective [ Confer French - rétractile .] (Physiol.) Capable of retraction; capable of being drawn back or up; as, the claws of a cat are retractile .

Retraction (re*trāk"shŭn) noun [ Confer French rétraction , Latin retractio a drawing back, hesitation.]
1. The act of retracting, or drawing back; the state of being retracted; as, the retraction of a cat's claws.

2. The act of withdrawing something advanced, stated, claimed, or done; declaration of change of opinion; recantation.

Other men's insatiable desire of revenge hath wholly beguiled both church and state of the benefit of all my either retractions or concessions.
Eikon Basilike.

3. (Physiol.) (a) The act of retracting or shortening; as, the retraction of a severed muscle; the retraction of a sinew. (b) The state or condition of a part when drawn back, or towards the center of the body.

Retractive adjective Serving to retract; of the nature of a retraction. -- Re*tract"ive*ly , adverb

Retractive noun That which retracts, or withdraws.

Retractor (-ẽr) noun One who, or that which, retracts. Specifically: (a) In breech-loading firearms, a device for withdrawing a cartridge shell from the barrel. (b) (Surg.) An instrument for holding apart the edges of a wound during amputation. (c) (Surg.) A bandage to protect the soft parts from injury by the saw during amputation. (d) (Anat. & Zoology) A muscle serving to draw in any organ or part. See Illust. under Phylactolæmata .

Retraict (re*trāt") noun Retreat. [ Obsolete] Bacon.

Retrait (re*trāt") noun [ Italian ritratto , from ritrarre to draw back, draw, from Latin retrahere . See Retract .] A portrait; a likeness. [ Obsolete]

Whose fair retrait I in my shield do bear.
Spenser.

Retransform transitive verb To transform anew or back. -- Re`trans*for*ma"tion noun

Retranslate transitive verb To translate anew; especially, to translate back into the original language.

Retraxit noun [ Latin , (he) has withdrawn. See Retract .] (O. Eng. Law) The withdrawing, or open renunciation, of a suit in court by the plaintiff, by which he forever lost his right of action. Blackstone.

Retread transitive verb & i. To tread again.

Retreat noun [ French retraite , from retraire to withdraw, Latin retrahere ; prefix re- re- + trahere to draw. See Trace , and confer Retract , Retrace .]
1. The act of retiring or withdrawing one's self, especially from what is dangerous or disagreeable.

In a retreat he o...truns any lackey.
Shak.

2. The place to which anyone retires; a place or privacy or safety; a refuge; an asylum.

He built his son a house of pleasure, and spared no cost to make a delicious retreat .
L'Estrange.

That pleasing shade they sought, a soft retreat
From sudden April showers, a shelter from the heat.
Dryden.

3. (Mil. & Naval.) (a) The retiring of an army or body of men from the face of an enemy, or from any ground occupied to a greater distance from the enemy, or from an advanced position. (b) The withdrawing of a ship or fleet from an enemy for the purpose of avoiding an engagement or escaping after defeat. (c) A signal given in the army or navy, by the beat of a drum or the sounding of trumpet or bugle, at sunset (when the roll is called), or for retiring from action.

» A retreat is properly an orderly march, in which circumstance it differs from a flight .

4. (Eccl.) (a) A special season of solitude and silence to engage in religious exercises. (b) A period of several days of withdrawal from society to a religious house for exclusive occupation in the duties of devotion; as, to appoint or observe a retreat .

Syn. -- Retirement; departure; withdrawment; seclusion; solitude; privacy; asylum; shelter; refuge.

Retreat intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Retreated ; present participle & verbal noun Retreating .] To make a retreat; to retire from any position or place; to withdraw; as, the defeated army retreated from the field.

The rapid currents drive
Towards the retreating sea their furious tide.
Milton.

Retreatful adjective Furnishing or serving as a retreat. [ R.] "Our retreatful flood." Chapman.

Retreatment noun The act of retreating; specifically, the Hegira. [ R.] D'Urfey.

Retrench transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Retrenched ; present participle & verbal noun Retrenching .] [ Old French retrenchier , French retrancher ; prefix re- re- + Old French trenchier , French trancher , to cut. See Trench .]
1. To cut off; to pare away.

Thy exuberant parts retrench .
Denham.

2. To lessen; to abridge; to curtail; as, to retrench superfluities or expenses.

But this thy glory shall be soon retrenched .
Milton.

3. To confine; to limit; to restrict. Addison.

These figures, ought they then to receive a retrenched interpretation?
I. Taylor.

4. (Fort.) To furnish with a retrenchment; as, to retrench bastions.

Syn. -- To lesen; diminish; curtail; abridge.

Retrench intransitive verb To cause or suffer retrenchment; specifically, to cut down living expenses; as, it is more reputable to retrench than to live embarrassed.

Retrenchment noun [ Confer French retrenchment .]
1. The act or process of retrenching; as, the retrenchment of words in a writing.

The retrenchment of my expenses will convince you that ... mean to replace your fortune as far as I can.
Walpole.

2. (Fort.) A work constructed within another, to prolong the defense of the position when the enemy has gained possession of the outer work; or to protect the defenders till they can retreat or obtain terms for a capitulation.

Syn. -- Lessening; curtailment; diminution; reduction; abridgment.

Retrial noun A secdond trial, experiment, or test; a second judicial trial, as of an accused person.

Retribute transitive verb [ Latin retributus , past participle of retribuere to retribute; pref re- + tribuere to bestow, assign, pay. See Tribute .] To pay back; to give in return, as payment, reward, or punishment; to requite; as, to retribute one for his kindness; to retribute just punishment to a criminal. [ Obsolete or R.] Locke.

Retributer noun One who makes retribution.

Retribution noun [ Latin retributio : confer French rétribution .]
1. The act of retributing; repayment.

In good offices and due retributions , we may not be pinching and niggardly.
Bp. Hall.

2. That which is given in repayment or compensation; return suitable to the merits or deserts of, as an action; commonly, condign punishment for evil or wrong.

All who have their reward on earth, . . .
Naught seeking but the praise of men, here find
Fit retribution , empty as their deeds.
Milton.

3. Specifically, reward and punishment, as distributed at the general judgment.

It is a strong argument for a state of retribution hereafter, that in this world virtuous persons are very often unfortunate, and vicious persons prosperous.
Addison.

Syn. -- Repayment; requital; recompense; payment; retaliation.

Retributive, Retributory adjective [ Confer Late Latin retributorius worthy of retribution.] Of or pertaining to retribution; of the nature of retribution; involving retribution or repayment; as, retributive justice; retributory comforts.

Retrievable adjective [ From Retrieve .] That may be retrieved or recovered; admitting of retrieval. -- Re*triev"a*ble*ness , noun -- Re*triev"a*bly , adverb

Retrieval noun The act retrieving.

Retrieve transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Retrieved ; present participle & verbal noun Retrieving .] [ Middle English retreven , Old French retrover to find again, recover ( il retroeve e finds again), French retrouver ; prefix re- re- + Old French trover to find, French trouver . See Trover .]
1. To find again; to recover; to regain; to restore from loss or injury; as, to retrieve one's character; to retrieve independence.

With late repentance now they would retrieve
The bodies they forsook, and wish to live.
Dryden

2. To recall; to bring back.

To retrieve them from their cold, trivial conceits.
Berkeley.

3. To remedy the evil consequence of, to repair, as a loss or damadge.

Accept my sorrow, and retrieve my fall.
Prior.

There is much to be done . . . and much to be retrieved .
Burke.

Syn. -- To recover; regain; recruit; repair; restore.

Retrieve intransitive verb (Sport.) To discover and bring in game that has been killed or wounded; as, a dog naturally inclined to retrieve . Walsh.

Retrieve noun
1. A seeking again; a discovery. [ Obsolete] B. Jonson.

2. The recovery of game once sprung; -- an old sporting term. [ Obsolete] Nares.

Retrievement noun Retrieval.

Retriever noun
1. One who retrieves.

2. (Zoology) A dor, or a breed of dogs, chiefly employed to retrieve, or to find and recover game birds that have been killed or wounded.

Retrim transitive verb To trim again.

Retriment noun [ Latin retrimentum .] Refuse; dregs. [ R.]