Meaning of RETAINER in English


I. -nə(r) noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English reteiner, probably from Middle French retenir to retain (vb. taken as noun)


a. : the act of withholding what one has in his hands by virtue of some right (as where a creditor pays his own claim out of the debtor's property that has come into his hands as representative of the debtor)


(1) : the act of a client by which he engages the services of a lawyer, counselor, or adviser

(2) : the document expressing such engagement or the authority so conferred

c. : a fee paid to a lawyer to maintain a cause or to a professional adviser for advice or for a claim upon his services in case of need — called also retaining fee ; see general retainer

2. : engagement for a position or job : employment

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: retain + -er

1. : one that retains : maintainer

2. : one that is retained : a person attached or owing service to a household : one that serves a person of high position or rank : dependent , servant

an old family retainer

civil affairs were belatedly put into the hands of native retainers of the French — R.H.Rovere

recruited from the landowning class and their retainers — American Scholar

broadly : employee

old civil service retainers

3. : a civilian employee of a military camp or unit

retainers and persons accompanying or serving with the armies of the United States in the field — U.S. Manual for Courts-Martial

4. : any of various devices used for holding something: as

a. : a cage or frame for keeping the balls or rollers in a ball or roller bearing properly spaced

b. : a rebound clip in a leaf spring

c. : a pressure valve on a railroad car for retaining part of the brake cylinder pressure to aid in slowing the train on a long grade while increasing the brake pipe pressure to recharge the auxiliary reservoirs

d. : the part of a bridge or other dental replacement by which it is made fast to adjacent natural teeth

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.