KJV Dictionary Definition: retain


RETA'IN, v.t. L. retineo; re and teneo, to hold.

1. To hold or keep in possession; not to lose or part with or dismiss. The memory retains ideas which facts or arguments have suggested to the mind.

They did not like to retain God in their knowledge. Rom. 1.

2. To keep, as an associate; to keep from departure.

Whom I would have retained with me. Phil. 13.

3. To keep back; to hold.

An executor may retain a debt due to him from the testator.

4. To hold from escape. Some substances retain heat much longer than others. Metals readily receive and transmit heat, but do not long retain it. Seek cloths that retain their color.

5. To keep in pay; to hire.

A Benedictine convent has now retained the most learned father of their order to write in its defense.

6. To engage; to employ by a fee paid; as, to retain a counselor.

RETA'IN, v.i.

1. To belong to; to depend on; as coldness mixed with a somewhat languid relish retaining to bitterness.

Not in use. We now use pertain.

2. To keep; to continue. Not in use.


RETA'INED, pp. Held; kept in possession; kept as an associate; kept in pay; kept from escape.



1. One who retains; as an executor, who retains a debt due from the testator.

2. One who is kept in service; an attendant; as the retainers of the ancient princes and nobility.

3. An adherent; a dependant; a hanger on.

4. A servant, not a domestic, but occasionally attending and wearing his master's livery.

5. Among lawyers, a fee paid to engage a lawyer or counselor to maintain a cause.

6. The act of keeping dependents, or being in dependence.


RETA'INING, ppr. Keeping in possession; keeping as an associate; keeping from escape; hiring; engaging by a fee.