Recorded in Middle English c.1410 as retreve (altered to retrive in the 16th century; modern form is from c.1650), from Middle French retruev-, stem of Old French (=modern) retrouver (“to find again”), itself from re- (“again”) + trouver (“to find”) (probably from Vulgar Latin *tropare (“to compose”)).
- IPA(key): /ɹɪˈtɹiːv/, /ɹəˈtɹiːv/, /ɹiˈtɹiːv/
- Rhymes: -iːv
retrieve (third-person singular simple present retrieves, present participle retrieving, simple past and past participle retrieved)
- (transitive) To regain or get back something.
to retrieve one's character or independence; to retrieve a thrown ball
- With late repentance now they would retrieve / The bodies they forsook, and wish to live.
- (transitive) To rescue (a creature).
- (transitive) To salvage something
- (transitive) To remedy or rectify something.
- (transitive) To remember or recall something.
- (transitive, especially computing) To fetch or carry back something.
- 1714, Rev. Dean Berkeley, letter to Alexander Pope, May 1, 1714
- to retrieve them from their cold, trivial conceits
- (transitive) To fetch and bring in game.
The cook doesn't care what's shot, only what's actually retrieved.
- (intransitive) To fetch and bring in game systematically.
Dog breeds called 'retrievers' were selected for retrieving.
- (intransitive) To fetch or carry back systematically, notably as a game.
Most dogs love retrieving, regardless of what object is thrown.
- (sports, transitive) To make a difficult but successful return of the ball.
- (obsolete) To remedy the evil consequence of, to repair (a loss or damage).
1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Solomon on the Vanity of the World. A Poem in Three Books.”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: […] Jacob Tonson […], and John Barber […], OCLC 5634253, (please specify the page):
- Accept my sorrow, and retrieve my fall.
- There is much to be done […] and much to be retrieved.
to regain or get back something
to remedy or rectify something
to remember or recall something
to fetch or carry back something
to fetch and bring in game
to fetch and bring in game systematically
to fetch or carry back systematically, notably as a game
to make a difficult ball return
to remedy the evil consequence of, to repair a loss or damage
retrieve (plural retrieves)
- A retrieval
- (sports) The return of a difficult ball
- (obsolete) A seeking again; a discovery.
- (obsolete) The recovery of game once sprung.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Nares to this entry?)
return of a difficult ball