Re*treat" (?), n. [F. retraite, fr. retraire to withdraw, L. retrahere; pref. re- re- + trahere to draw. See Trace, and cf. Retract, Retrace.]


The act of retiring or withdrawing one's self, especially from what is dangerous or disagreeable.

In a retreat he otruns any lackey. Shak.


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.


The withdrawing of a ship or fleet from an enemy for the purpose of avoiding an engagement or escaping after defeat.


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.


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.


© Webster 1913.

Re*treat" (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Retreated; p. pr. & vb. n. 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.


© Webster 1913.

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