You can use retention to mean the ability to keep or hold. If you have extraordinary powers of retention, you remember everything you hear or learn.

Are your ankles ever swollen after a long flight? This comes from the lack of movement which can cause the retention of water. The roots of the word, Latin re- "back" and tenere "to hold," say it all. You often use the word in the military or business contexts to talk about keeping soldiers, or employees, from leaving. If you're lucky, they might offer you a retention bonus to prevent you from quitting.

Definitions of retention
  1. noun
    the act of retaining something
    synonyms: holding, keeping
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    the act of holding back or keeping within your possession or control
    the act of storing something
    preservation and methodical arrangement as of documents and papers etc.
    type of:
    ownership, possession
    the act of having and controlling property
  2. noun
    the power of retaining liquid
    synonyms: retentiveness, retentivity
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    urinary retention
    holding urine in the urinary bladder
    type of:
    impermeability, impermeableness
    the property of something that cannot be pervaded by a liquid
  3. noun
    the power of retaining and recalling past experience
    synonyms: memory, retentiveness, retentivity
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    anamnesis, recollection, remembrance
    the ability to recall past occurrences
    type of:
    faculty, mental faculty, module
    one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind
Word Family

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