Retain means to hold on to or keep. People who can retain a lot of information are often mistaken for geniuses, but really they just have very good memories.

To retain is to keep or maintain, whether in mind, possession or a certain condition. If you have a great personal assistant, you'll probably want to retain him for as long as you can. If your body is retaining water you might look a little plump. The verbs restrain and detain sound similar, but they mean to keep something by force.

Definitions of retain
  1. verb
    secure and keep for possible future use or application
    “The landlord retained the security deposit”
    synonyms: hold, hold back, keep back
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    hold down
    type of:
    hold on, keep
    retain possession of
  2. verb
    hold back within
    “This soil retains water”
    “I retain this drug for a long time”
    “the dam retains the water”
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    type of:
    bear, carry, contain, hold
    contain or hold; have within
  3. verb
    keep in one's mind
    “I cannot retain so much information”
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    type of:
    remember, think of
    keep in mind for attention or consideration
  4. verb
    allow to remain in a place or position or maintain a property or feature
    “She retains a lawyer”
    “She retained her composure”
    “this garment retains its shape even after many washings”
    synonyms: continue, keep, keep on
    continue, persist in
    do something repeatedly and showing no intention to stop
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    type of:
    keep up, prolong, sustain
    lengthen or extend in duration or space
Word Family

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