The act of bringing something back is called retrieval. When you throw a tennis ball to Fido and he brings it back to you, that's retrieval.

When you lose something and get it back, that's retrieval, whether it's a tote bag you accidentally left at the library or a file you can't find on your computer. In fact, the word retrieval is a common one in computer science, meaning "the act of accessing information." The word comes from the verb retrieve, which was first used in the fifteenth century to describe a hunting dog bringing a dead bird back from a field.

Definitions of retrieval

n the act of regaining or saving something lost (or in danger of becoming lost)

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the action of regaining possession (especially the seizure of collateral securing a loan that is in default)
the recovery of useful substances from waste products
deliverance, delivery, rescue, saving
recovery or preservation from loss or danger
the act of freeing from captivity or punishment
recapture, retaking
the act of taking something back
saving the lives of drowning persons
redemption, salvation
(theology) the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil
reclamation, reformation
rescuing from error and returning to a rightful course
the act of rescuing a ship or its crew or its cargo from a shipwreck or a fire
the act of saving goods or property that were in danger of damage or destruction
saving someone or something from harm or from an unpleasant situation
search and rescue mission
a rescue mission to search for survivors and to rescue them
Type of:
act, deed, human action, human activity
something that people do or cause to happen

n the cognitive operation of accessing information in memory

“my retrieval of people's names is very poor”
Type of:
memory, remembering
the cognitive processes whereby past experience is remembered

n (computer science) the operation of accessing information from the computer's memory

retrieval of information from unconnected databases; the situation that exists when it is necessary to climb out of one database in order to climb down into another; sometimes used for protection against wandering hackers
Type of:
computer operation, machine operation
an elementary operation that a computer is designed and built to perform

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