From Middle English returnen, retornen, from Anglo-Norman returner, from Old French retourner, retorner, from Medieval Latin retornare (“to turn back”), from re- + tornare (“to turn”). Compare beturn.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ɹɪˈtɜːn/
- (US) IPA(key): /ɹɪˈtɝn/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(r)n
- Hyphenation: re‧turn
- (intransitive) To come or go back (to a place or person).
- Although the birds fly north for the summer, they return here in winter.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, The Celebrity:
- The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on an afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. The three returned wondering and charmed with Mrs. Cooke; they were sure she had had no hand in the furnishing of that atrocious house.
1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, The China Governess:
- As soon as Julia returned with a constable, Timothy, who was on the point of exhaustion, prepared to give over to him gratefully. The newcomer turned out to be a powerful youngster, fully trained and eager to help, and he stripped off his tunic at once.
- (intransitive) To go back in thought, narration, or argument.
- To return to my story […]
- (intransitive, obsolete) To turn back, retreat.
- (transitive, obsolete) To turn (something) round.
- (transitive) To put (place) something back where it had been.
- Please return your hands to your lap.
- (transitive) To give something back to its original holder or owner.
- You should return the library book within one month.
- (transitive) To take something back to a retailer for a refund.
- If the goods don't work, you can return them.
- To give in requital or recompense; to requite.
- Bible, 1 Kings ii.44
- The Lord shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head.
- Bible, 1 Kings ii.44
- (tennis) To bat the ball back over the net in response to a serve.
- The player couldn't return the serve because it was so fast.
- (card games) To play a card as a result of another player's lead.
- If one players plays a trump, the others must return a trump.
- (cricket) To throw a ball back to the wicket-keeper (or a fielder at that position) from somewhere in the field.
- (transitive) To say in reply; to respond.
- to return an answer; to return thanks
- (intransitive, computing) To relinquish control to the calling procedure.
- (transitive, computing) To pass (data) back to the calling procedure.
- This function returns the number of files in the directory.
- (transitive, dated) To retort; to throw back.
- to return the lie
- If you are a malicious reader, you return upon me, that I affect to be thought more impartial than I am.
- (transitive) To report, or bring back and make known.
- to return the result of an election
- Bible, Exodus xix.8
- And all the people answered together, […] and Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.
- (by extension, UK) To elect according to the official report of the election officers.
Terms related to the verb "return"
to come or go back
to go back in thought, narration, or argument
to turn back, retreat
to put something back where it had been
to give something back to its original holder or owner
to take something back to a retailer for a refund
to give in requital or recompense; to requite
tennis: to bat the ball back over the net in response to a serve
cricket: to throw a ball back to the wicket-keeper
to say in reply; to respond
computing: to relinquish control to the calling procedure
computing: to pass back (data) to the calling procedure
to retort; to throw back
to report, or bring back and make known
to elect according to the official report of the election officers
Translations to be checked
return (plural returns)
- The act of returning.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, The Celebrity:
- I had occasion […] to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return […] I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, […], and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town. I was completely mystified at such an unusual proceeding.
- I expect the house to be spotless upon my return.
- A return ticket.
- Do you want a one-way or a return?
- An item that is returned, e.g. due to a defect, or the act of returning it.
- Last year there were 250 returns of this product, an improvement on the 500 returns the year before.
- An answer.
- a return to one's question
- An account, or formal report, of an action performed, of a duty discharged, of facts or statistics, etc.; especially, in the plural, a set of tabulated statistics prepared for general information.
- election returns; a return of the amount of goods produced or sold
- Gain or loss from an investment.
- Jeremy Taylor
- The fruit from many days of recreation is very little; but from these few hours we spend in prayer, the return is great.
2012 April 22, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0-1 West Brom”, BBC Sport:
- Liverpool have now won only five of their 17 home league games this season. It is a poor return for a team of Liverpool's pedigree and resources but, once again, Kenny Dalglish's team were the instigators of their own downfall as chance after chance went begging.
2013 July 6, “The rise of smart beta”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8843, page 68:
- Investors face a quandary. Cash offers a return of virtually zero in many developed countries; government-bond yields may have risen in recent weeks but they are still unattractive. Equities have suffered two big bear markets since 2000 and are wobbling again. It is hardly surprising that pension funds, insurers and endowments are searching for new sources of return.
- It yielded a return of 5%.
- Jeremy Taylor
- (taxation, finance): A report of income submitted to a government for purposes of specifying exact tax payment amounts. A tax return.
- Hand in your return by the end of the tax year.
- (computing) A carriage return character.
- (computing) The act of relinquishing control to the calling procedure.
- (computing) A return value: the data passed back from a called procedure.
- A short perpendicular extension of a desk, usually slightly lower.
- (American football) Catching a ball after a punt and running it back towards the opposing team.
- (cricket) A throw from a fielder to the wicket-keeper or to another fielder at the wicket.
- (architecture) The continuation in a different direction, most often at a right angle, of a building, face of a building, or any member, such as a moulding; applied to the shorter in contradistinction to the longer.
- A facade of sixty feet east and west has a return of twenty feet north and south.
Terms derived from the noun "return"
act of returning
item that is returned
answer — see answer
formal report, set of tabulated statistics prepared for general information
finance: gain or loss from an investment
finance: tax return
computing: carriage return character
computing: act of relinquishing control to the calling procedure
short perpendicular extension of a desk
Translations to be checked