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
  1. noun
    the act of regaining or saving something lost (or in danger of becoming lost)
    synonyms: recovery
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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
  2. noun
    the cognitive operation of accessing information in memory
    “my retrieval of people's names is very poor”
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    type of:
    memory, remembering
    the cognitive processes whereby past experience is remembered
  3. noun
    (computer science) the operation of accessing information from the computer's memory
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    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
Word Family

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