English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English retenue, from Old French retenue, past participle of retenir (retain). Doublet of ritenuto.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

retinue (plural retinues)

  1. A group of attendants or servants, especially of someone considered important.
    Synonyms: entourage, (obsolete, rare) retain
    the queen’s retinues
    • 1915 April, Lord Dunsany [i.e., Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany], “Spring in Town”, in Fifty-one Tales, London: [Charles] Elkin Mathews, →OCLC:
      And not any longer as a king did Winter appear in those streets, as when the city was decked with gleaming white to greet him as a conqueror and he rode in with his glittering icicles and haughty retinue of prancing winds, but he sat there with a little wind at the corner of the street like some old blind beggar with his hungry dog.
    • 12 July 2012, Sam Adams, AV Club Ice Age: Continental Drift
      Preceded by a Simpsons short shot in 3-D—perhaps the only thing more superfluous than a fourth Ice Age movie—Ice Age: Continental Drift finds a retinue of vaguely contemporaneous animals coping with life in the post-Pangaea age.
  2. A group of warriors or nobles accompanying a king or other leader; comitatus.
    • 1992, J. A. V. Haney and Eric Dahl, “On Igor’s Campaign” (translation of Слово о плъку Игоревѣ):
      Then Igor looked up at the bright sun and saw all his warriors / darkened from it by a shadow. / And Igor said to his retinue: / “Brothers and companions! It is better to be slain than taken captive. / Mount, brothers, your swift horses that we may glimpse the Blue Don.”
  3. (obsolete) A service relationship.

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Middle English edit

Noun edit


  1. Alternative form of retenue