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retreat

re·treat / riˈtrēt/ • v. [intr.] (of an army) withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat: the French retreated in disarray. ∎  move back or withdraw, esp. so as to remove oneself from a difficult or uncomfortable situation: it becomes so hot that the lizards retreat into the shade | [as adj.] (retreating) the sound of retreating footsteps. ∎  withdraw to a quiet or secluded place: after the funeral he retreated to the shore. ∎  (of an expanse of ice or water) become smaller in size or extent: a series of trenches which filled with water when the ice retreated. ∎  change one's decisions, plans, or attitude, as a result of criticism from others: his proposals were clearly unreasonable and he was soon forced to retreat. ∎  (of shares of stock) decline in value: shares retreated 32 points to 653 points. ∎  [tr.] Chess move (a piece) back from a forward or threatened position on the board. • n. 1. an act of moving back or withdrawing: a speedy retreat | the army was in retreat. ∎  an act of changing one's decisions, plans, or attitude, esp. as a result of criticism from others: the unions made a retreat from their earlier position. ∎  a decline in the value of shares of stock. 2. a signal for a military force to withdraw: the bugle sounded a retreat. ∎  a military musical ceremony carried out at sunset, originating in the playing of drums and bugles to tell soldiers to return to camp for the night. 3. a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax: their mountain retreat in New Hampshire. ∎  a period of seclusion for the purposes of prayer and meditation: the bishop is away on his annual retreat | before his ordination he went on retreat. PHRASES: beat a retreat see beat.

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Retreat

Retreat. A period of days spent apart from the world, in pursuit of religious ends. In Christianity, retreats are formally part of the life of Jesuits (Ignatiusʾ Spiritual Exercises being a retreat plan), and it was the Jesuits who promoted the retreat as a formal practice. In the 17th cent. retreats became popular, and retreat houses were set up.

The term is used, in application, in other religions for withdrawal from the world, e.g. the time spent by Muḥammad in isolation on Mt. Hira (which led to the revelation of the first words of the Qurʾān); vassa in Buddhism.

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retreat

retreat (mil.) signal to retire XIV; act of retiring in the face of danger, etc.; withdrawal into privacy; place of seclusion XV. Late ME. retret —OF. retret, etc., vars. of retraite, sb. uses of m. and fem. pps. of retraire :- L. retrahere RETRACT1.
So vb. retire XV; †retract, revoke XVI. — OF. retraitier — L. retractāre RETRACT2.

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