When you return, you go back somewhere after being away. If you haven't been to Disney World since your fifth birthday, it might be fun to return when you're older.

There are many ways to return — you can come back to a place, state, or activity, the way you return to jogging after getting a drink, or return to a feeling of sadness after brief cheer. You also might return something to someone else: "I need to return the book she loaned me," or "He returns her smile across the crowded room." A return can be a comment, a lobbed tennis ball, or even a financial profit.

Primary Meanings of return

go or come back to place, condition, or activity where one has been before
the act of going back to a prior location
give back
a reciprocal group action
answer back
a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)
the key on electric typewriters or computer keyboards that causes a carriage return and a line feed
Full Definitions of return

v go or come back to place, condition, or activity where one has been before

return to your native land”
“the professor returned to his teaching position after serving as Dean”
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resurrect, rise, uprise
return from the dead
visit again
retrace, trace
to go back over again
backtrack, double back, turn back
retrace one's course
cut back, flash back
return in time
return home accurately from a long distance
go home, head home
return home
return to the initial position from where it came; like a boomerang
come back after being refused
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

v be restored

“Her old vigor returned
come back
Type of:
re-emerge, reappear
appear again

v go back to a previous state

regress, retrovert, revert, turn back
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fall back, lapse, recidivate, regress, relapse, retrogress
go back to bad behavior
return to the original position or state after being stretched or compressed
go back, recover, recuperate
regain a former condition after a financial loss
rally, rebound
return to a former condition
Type of:
change by reversal, reverse, turn
change to the contrary

v be inherited by

“The land returned to the family”
devolve, fall, pass
accrue, fall
come into the possession of
fall, light
fall to somebody by assignment or lot
Type of:
change hands, change owners
be transferred to another owner

v go back to something earlier

come back, hark back, recall
go back, recur
return in thought or speech to something
Type of:
denote, refer
have as a meaning

v return to a previous position; in mathematics

“The point returned to the interior of the figure”

n the act of going back to a prior location

“they set out on their return to the base camp”
the act of entering again
the act of sending an accused person back into custody to await trial (or the continuation of the trial)
Type of:
motion, move, movement
the act of changing location from one place to another

n a coming to or returning home

“on his return from Australia we gave him a welcoming party”
the act of returning to the country of origin
Type of:
the act of arriving at a certain place

n the act of someone appearing again

return by a celebrity to some previously successful activity
Type of:
the act of appearing in public view

n the occurrence of a change in direction back in the opposite direction

coming back
Type of:
turn, turning
a movement in a new direction

n happening again (especially at regular intervals)

“the return of spring”
atavism, reversion, throwback
a reappearance of an earlier characteristic
an unexpected but vivid recurrence of a past experience (especially a recurrence of the effects of an hallucinogenic drug taken much earlier)
Type of:
repeat, repetition
an event that repeats

v give back

feed back, resubmit
submit (information) again to a program or automatic system
Type of:
transfer possession of something concrete or abstract to somebody

v pay back

give back, refund, repay
pay back for some expense incurred
restitute, restore
give or bring back
Type of:
give money, usually in exchange for goods or services

v bring back to the point of departure

bring back, take back
Type of:
bring, convey, take
take something or somebody with oneself somewhere

v return in kind

return a compliment”
return her love”
return or recoil
Type of:
act, feel, or give mutually or in return

v make a return

return a kickback”
Type of:
carry, transport
move while supporting, either in a vehicle or in one's hands or on one's body

v submit (a report, etc.) to someone in authority

report out
return a bill after consideration and revision to a legislative body
Type of:
subject, submit
refer for judgment or consideration

v elect again

Type of:
select by a vote for an office or membership

v give or supply

generate, give, render, yield
give, yield
cause to happen or be responsible for
establish, give
bring about
Type of:
create, make, produce
create or manufacture a man-made product

n a reciprocal group action

“in return we gave them as good as we got”
getting even, paying back
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payment, requital
an act of requiting; returning in kind
retaliation, revenge
action taken in return for an injury or offense
the act of making or doing something in return
tit for tat
an equivalent given in return
payback, retribution, vengeance
the act of taking revenge (harming someone in retaliation for something harmful that they have done) especially in the next life
a retaliatory action against an enemy in wartime
Type of:
group action
action taken by a group of people

n getting something back again

regaining, restitution, restoration
finding a way to take money back from people that they were given in another way
Type of:
the act of contracting or assuming or acquiring possession of something

n a tennis stroke that sends the ball back to the other player

“he won the point on a cross-court return
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backhand, backhand shot, backhand stroke
a return made with the back of the hand facing the direction of the stroke
chop, chop shot
a tennis return made with a downward motion that puts backspin on the ball
(sports) a hard straight return (as in tennis or squash)
dink, drop shot
a soft return so that the tennis ball drops abruptly after crossing the net
forehand, forehand shot, forehand stroke
(sports) a return made with the palm of the hand facing the direction of the stroke (as in tennis or badminton or squash)
a return on a shot that seemed impossible to reach and would normally have resulted in a point for the opponent
ground stroke
a tennis return made by hitting the ball after it has bounced once
half volley
a tennis return made by hitting the ball immediately after it bounces
an easy return of a tennis ball in a high arc
overhead, smash
a hard return hitting the tennis ball above your head
passing shot
a tennis return that passes an opponent who has approached the net
a tennis return made by hitting the ball before it bounces
forehand drive
(sports) hard straight return made on the forehand side (as in tennis or badminton or squash)
backhand drive
a hard straight return made on the backhand side
two-handed backhand
a backhand shot made holding the racquet in both hands
Type of:
tennis shot, tennis stroke
the act of hitting a tennis ball with a tennis racket

n (American football) the act of running back the ball after a kickoff or punt or interception or fumble

Type of:
run, running, running game, running play
(American football) a play in which a player attempts to carry the ball through or past the opposing team

n the income or profit arising from such transactions as the sale of land or other property

“the average return was about 5%”
issue, payoff, proceeds, take, takings, yield
economic rent, rent
the return derived from cultivated land in excess of that derived from the poorest land cultivated under similar conditions
financial return or reward (especially returns equal to the initial investment)
Type of:
the financial gain (earned or unearned) accruing over a given period of time

n document giving the tax collector information about the taxpayer's tax liability

“his gross income was enough that he had to file a tax return
income tax return, tax return
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amended return
a tax return that corrects the information in an earlier return
declaration of estimated tax, estimated tax return
return required of a taxpayer whose tax withheld from income does not meet the tax liability for the year
false return
an incorrect income tax return
information return
a return that provides information to the tax collector but does not compute the tax liability
joint return
a return filed by a husband and wife
Type of:
instrument, legal document, legal instrument, official document
(law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right

v answer back

come back, rejoin, repay, retort, riposte
Type of:
answer, reply, respond
react verbally

v pass down

deliver, render
Type of:
communicate, pass, pass along, pass on, put across
transmit information

n a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)

comeback, counter, rejoinder, replication, retort, riposte
back talk, backtalk, lip, mouth, sass, sassing
an impudent or insolent rejoinder
Type of:
reply, response
the speech act of continuing a conversational exchange

n the key on electric typewriters or computer keyboards that causes a carriage return and a line feed

return key
Type of:
a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed

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