Meaning of RETURN in English


I. rə̇ˈtərn, rēˈ-, -tə̄n, -təin verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English retournen, retornen, from Middle French retourner, retorner, from re- + torner to turn — more at turn

intransitive verb


a. : to go back or come back again (as to a place, person, or condition)

returns to his home

return to the mainland — R.W.Hatch

returning to his former associates

consciousness returns quickly — H.G.Armstrong

the same themes returning later in the movement

b. : to go back in thought or practice : revert 1

now, to return to my story

her mind returned to her early youth — Ellen Glasgow

returns to a … representational mode of painting — Herbert Read

2. : to pass back to an earlier possessor : revert 2

now shall the kingdom return to the house of David — 1 Kings 12:26 (Authorized Version)

3. : to speak or write in answer : reply , retort

“very well,” returned the reviewer … “that's the way I see the book” — Edward Bok

transitive verb


a. : to give (an official account or report) to a superior (as by a list or statement)

return the names of all residents of the ward

return a list of jurors

b. : to elect (a candidate) as attested by official report or returns

returning a Labor candidate, the first ever elected in that constituency

c. : to bring back (as a writ or verdict) to an office or tribunal

return a verdict of not guilty

grand jury returned 214 indictments — P.M.Angle


a. : to bring, send, or put (a person or thing) back to or in a former position

return the lever to the first position

returned his handkerchief to his pocket

return your swords to their scabbards

the pilot returned his attention to the controls — Joseph Wechsberg

b. : to restore to a former or to a normal state

returning the mansion to the way it looked when erected — Betty Pepis

these lands will be returned to forest — American Guide Series: Connecticut


a. : to send back upon : visit — usually used with on or upon

the Lord shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head — 1 King 2:44 (Authorized Version)

b. obsolete : to retort (as an accusation) upon

recollecting what he had said … I returned it back upon him — Daniel Defoe

4. : to bring in or produce (as earnings or profit) : yield

subscription concerts barely returned the musicians a living wage — American Guide Series: Michigan


a. : to give or perform (something) in return : repay

return good for evil

return a courtesy call

the devotion it was not in her nature to return — Naomi Lewis

return thanks for the repast — T.B.Macaulay

b. : to give back (as a greeting)

return an answer

returned his greeting with a friendly smile

c. : to give (something) back to the owner

a man who would even return a borrowed umbrella — R.W.Emerson

d. : reflect

return an echo

6. : to cause (as a wall or molding) to continue in a different direction especially at a right angle

7. : to lead (a specified suit or specified card of a suit) in response to one's partner's earlier lead

returning a seven of spades to partner's spade lead


a. : to play back (as a ball) to an opponent (as in tennis)

found his service difficult to return

b. : to throw back (as a fielded ball in baseball or cricket)

returned the ball from deep centerfield to the first baseman

c. : to hit (a bowled ball in cricket) back to the bowler

Synonyms: see reciprocate

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English retourn, retorn, from retournen, retornen to return


a. : the act of coming back to or from a place or condition

his return to civilian life

on their return from a long trip

the return of health

a return to nationalism

the return of the blood pressure to normal — H.G.Armstrong

b. : a regular or frequent returning to the same place or condition : recurrence

the return of the seasons

the return of the tide

wished him on his birthday many happy returns of the day

sorry to hear you had a return of your rheumatism — Walt Whitman

c. : reversion

returns to a childhood form of functioning — H.A.Overstreet

d. : restoration

the return of the monarchy after a generation



(1) : the delivery of a legal order (as a writ, precept, or execution) to the proper officer or court

(2) : the endorsed certificate of an official stating what he has done in or about the execution of such a legal order

required to make a return of his proceedings in the matter

(3) : the sending back of a commission with the certificate of the commissioners

(4) : return day

b. : an account or formal report (as of an action performed or a duty discharged or of facts or statistics)

a return of government revenue and expenditure

census returns

especially : a set of tabulated statistics prepared for general information — usually used in plural


(1) : a report of the results of balloting — usually used in plural

election returns

(2) : an official declaration of the election of a candidate

each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members — U.S. Constitution

(3) chiefly Britain : election

his return to parliament on his first try for public office

d. : an official report or statement submitted by a military officer to his superior ; especially : one accounting for personnel, property, or supplies


(1) : a formal document executed in accordance with law on a required form showing taxable income, allowable deductions and exemptions, and the computation of the tax due

income tax returns

— called also tax return

(2) : a list of taxable property


a. : the continuation in a different direction and usually at a right angle of the face or of any member of a building (as a colonnade or molding) or of a molding or group of moldings (as in the mitering of a picture frame at the corners) : the short wall at an angle to a longer wall

a facade of 60 feet east has a return of 20 feet north

b. : one of the two flats on the sides of a stage that are fastened at right angles to the downstage ends of the set and run parallel to the footlights and that both mask the backstage and complete the set

c. : a turn, bend, or winding (as in a line, rod, stream, mining gallery, or military trench) back to or toward itself

d. : a short branch track (as in a mining gallery) to hold returning trucks as others pass on the main track

e. : a means (as a channel, pipe, or duct) for conveying something (as steam, water, or gas) back to its source or starting point ; specifically : the conductor that conveys an electric current to the source after its energy is utilized

f. : airway 1

g. : the track on which a bowling ball is returned from the pit to the bowler


a. : a quantity of goods, consignment, or cargo coming back in exchange for goods sent out as a mercantile venture

b. : the value of or profit from such venture

enterprises which … yield their promoters a handsome return — R.E.Cameron


(1) : the profit from labor, investment, or business : income or profit in relation to its source : yield

had a good cash return from his writings

— often used in plural

box-office returns

(2) returns plural : results

showing returns from his long hours of study

d. : the rate of profit in a process of production per unit of cost — compare law of constant return , law of diminishing returns


a. : the act of returning something to a former place, condition, or ownership : restitution

arranged for the return of the toppled statue to its pedestal

demands the return of the property to its rightful owner

b. : something returned: as

(1) : a paper calling for payment (as a check or draft) returned by a bank to the clearinghouse (as the London Banker's Clearing House) because of lack of funds, insufficient endorsement or other defect

(2) returns plural : unsold books, periodicals, or newspapers returned to publishers for cash or credit

(3) returns plural : mail received as the result of an advertising appeal (as by mail, radio, or television)

the returns on the mailing were running about 3 5

c. returns plural

(1) : refuse tobacco made up of fragments and siftings

(2) : tobacco prepared by returning shag for recutting


a. : something given to repay or reciprocate : requital

gives all and expects no return — Eden Phillpotts

making some return to society for the educational opportunites one has enjoyed — Bulletin of Bates College

b. : answer , retort

when he criticizes, can … be sure of a responsive return — Fred Rodell

c. : a lead in a suit previously led by one's partner (as in bridge)

d. : an answering or retaliatory play: as

(1) : the act of returning a ball to an opponent (as in tennis, badminton, handball, or cricket)

his return of service was a strong backhand drive

(2) : a counterthrust in fencing : riposte

(3) : the runback of the ball after a kick by the other team in football

7. chiefly Britain : a round-trip ticket

III. adjective


a. : having or formed by a return or change of direction

a return facade

b. : turned back : doubled upon itself

a return flue

2. : played, delivered, or given in return

a return game

a return blow

a return courtesy

3. : used or taken on returning or on a trip back

a return cargo

the return road has been blocked — Gail Kennedy

4. : returning or permitting return

a return current

a return valve

5. : of, relating to, causing, or permitting a return to a place or condition : recurring

return orders

a return bout with tuberculosis — E.P.Snow

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