re·trench / riˈtrench/ • v. [intr.] (of a company, government, or individual) reduce costs or spending in response to economic difficulty: as a result of the recession the company retrenched | [tr.] if people are forced to retrench their expenditure trade will suffer. ∎ [tr.] formal reduce or diminish (something) in extent or quantity: fortune had retrenched her once abundant gifts.DERIVATIVES: re·trench·ment n.