American Dictionary of the English Language

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RETRE'AT, noun [Latin retractus, retraho; re and traho.]

1. The act of retiring; a withdrawing of one's self from any place.

But beauty's triumph is well tim'd retreat

2. Retirement; state of privacy or seclusion from noise, bustle or company.

Here in the calm still mirror of retreat

3. Place of retirement or privacy.

He built his son a house of pleasure - and spared no cost to make it a delicious retreat

4. Place of safety or security.

That pleasing shade they sought, a soft retreat from sudden April show'rs, a shelter from the heat.

5. In military affairs, 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. A retreat is properly an orderly march, in which circumstance it differs from a flight.

6. The withdrawing of a ship or fleet from an enemy; or the order and disposition of ships declining an engagement.

7. The beat of the drum at the firing of the evening gun, to warn soldiers to forbear firing and the sentinels to challenge.

RETRE'AT, verb intransitive

1. To retire from any position or place.

2. To withdraw to a private abode or to any secluded situation.

3. To retire to a place of safety or security; as, to retreat into a den or into a fort.

4. To move back to a place before occupied; to retire.

The rapid currents drive, towards the retreating sea, their furious tide.

5. To retire from an enemy or from any advanced position.