1. that retires.
  2. withdrawing from contact with others; reserved; shy.

verb (used without object), re·tired, re·tir·ing.

  1. to withdraw, or go away or apart, to a place of privacy, shelter, or seclusion: He retired to his study.
  2. to go to bed: He retired at midnight.
  3. to withdraw from office, business, or active life, usually because of age: to retire at the age of sixty.
  4. to fall back or retreat in an orderly fashion and according to plan, as from battle, an untenable position, danger, etc.
  5. to withdraw or remove oneself: After announcing the guests, the butler retired.

verb (used with object), re·tired, re·tir·ing.

  1. to withdraw from circulation by taking up and paying, as bonds, bills, etc.; redeem.
  2. to withdraw or lead back (troops, ships, etc.), as from battle or danger; retreat.
  3. to remove from active service or the usual field of activity, as an army officer or business executive.
  4. to withdraw (a machine, ship, etc.) permanently from its normal service, usually for scrapping; take out of use.
  5. Sports. to put out (a batter, side, etc.).

noun Literary.

  1. a place of withdrawal; retreat: a cool retire from summer’s heat.
  2. retirement or withdrawal, as from worldly matters or the company of others.


  1. shunning contact with others; shy; reserved

verb (mainly intr)

  1. (also tr) to give up or to cause (a person) to give up his work, a post, etc, esp on reaching pensionable age (in Britain and Australia usually 65 for men, 60 for women)
  2. to go away, as into seclusion, for recuperation, etc
  3. to go to bed
  4. to recede or disappearthe sun retired behind the clouds
  5. to withdraw from a sporting contest, esp because of injury
  6. (also tr) to pull back (troops, etc) from battle or an exposed position or (of troops, etc) to fall back
  7. (tr)
    1. to remove (bills, bonds, shares, etc) from circulation by taking them up and paying for them
    2. to remove (money) from circulation

1580s, “departing, retreating,” present participle adjective from retire (v.). Also “fond of retiring, disposed to seclusion,” hence “unobtrusive, modest, subdued” (1766).


1530s, of armies, “to retreat,” from Middle French retirer “to withdraw (something),” from re- “back” (see re-) + Old French tirer “to draw” (see tirade). Related: Retired; retiring.

Meaning “to withdraw” to some place, especially for the sake of privacy, is recorded from 1530s; sense of “leave an occupation” first attested 1640s (implied in retirement). Meaning “to leave company and go to bed” is from 1660s. Transitive sense is from 1540s, originally “withdraw, lead back” (troops, etc.); meaning “to remove from active service” is from 1680s. Baseball sense of “to put out” is recorded from 1874.

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