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.
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.
That pleasing shade they sought, a soft retreat
From sudden April showers, a shelter from the heat.
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.
© Webster 1913.