Meaning of RETENTION in English


rə̇ˈtenchən, rēˈ- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English retencioun, from Latin retention-, retentio, from retentus (past participle of retinēre to retain) + -ion-, -io -ion — more at retain


a. : the act of retaining or state of being retained

b. : continuance in use (as of a name or custom)

specific African cultures came to predominate, and recognizable retentions of these customs are present — M.J.Herskovits

c. : abnormal retaining in a canal, reservoir, or tissue of the body of a fluid or secretion which is to be voided

retention of urine

retention of bile


(1) : a retaining or an ability to retain things in mind : memory

recall, recognition, and relearning are the three experimental tests of retention — R.S.Woodworth

(2) : the preservation of aftereffects of experience and learning so that recall or recognition is possible or that relearning is easier than the learning of new material

e. : a keeping in one's own possession or control

the retention by the railways of about 3,500 trucks — Alzada Comstock

her retention of the world figure skating title — Current Biography

the retention of part of the medical personnel taken prisoner — J.S.Pictet


(1) : a retaining or holding fixed in some place, position, or condition

retention is the fixation of a removable partial denture in the mouth in such a manner that … it may be inserted and retained with sufficient firmness — Review of Dentistry

(2) : state of being kept in place

2. : power or capacity of retaining : retentiveness

shape, crease, and pleat- retention are not obtainable with any of the natural fibers — J.B.Goldberg

good initial color and color retention , are properties that can be attained by alkyds — H.E.Hillman

3. : something that is retained

the amount of precipitation that falls on an area but does not run off is the retention

4. : a possessory lien

5. : the portion of the insurance on a particular risk not reinsured or ceded by the originating insurer

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