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re·trench 1

v. re·trenched, re·trench·ing, re·trench·es
1. To reduce (expenses, for example); cut down.
2. Archaic To remove, delete, or omit.
To curtail expenses; economize.

[Middle French retrencher, to remove, suppress, from Old French retrenchier : re-, re- + trenchier, to cut; see trench.]

re·trench′er n.

re·trench 2

intr.v. re·trenched, re·trench·ing, re·trench·es
To reorganize in such a way as to consolidate one's strength in preparation for future efforts: "The ranching industry had retrenched and was well on its way to becoming the powerful lobby that it is today" (Deanne Stillman).

[re- + trench, on the model of Middle French se retrancher, to retire or take a secure position behind entrenchments, reflexive of retrancher, to fortify (a position) with trenches : re-, re- + tranchée, trench (from Old French trenchiee, tranchee, from feminine of trenchie, past participle of trenchier, to cut; see trench).]

re·trench′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Banking & Finance) to reduce or curtail (costs); economize
2. (tr) to shorten, delete, or abridge
3. (Fortifications) (tr) to protect by a retrenchment
[C17: from Old French retrenchier, from re- + trenchier to cut, from Latin truncāre to lop; see trench]
reˈtrenchable adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. to cut down, reduce, or diminish; curtail (expenses).
2. to cut off or remove.
3. to economize; reduce expenses.
[1600–10; < French retrencher (variant, now obsolete, of retrancher), Middle French retrenchier=re- re- + trenchier to cut; see trench]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


Past participle: retrenched
Gerund: retrenching

I retrench
you retrench
he/she/it retrenches
we retrench
you retrench
they retrench
I retrenched
you retrenched
he/she/it retrenched
we retrenched
you retrenched
they retrenched
Present Continuous
I am retrenching
you are retrenching
he/she/it is retrenching
we are retrenching
you are retrenching
they are retrenching
Present Perfect
I have retrenched
you have retrenched
he/she/it has retrenched
we have retrenched
you have retrenched
they have retrenched
Past Continuous
I was retrenching
you were retrenching
he/she/it was retrenching
we were retrenching
you were retrenching
they were retrenching
Past Perfect
I had retrenched
you had retrenched
he/she/it had retrenched
we had retrenched
you had retrenched
they had retrenched
I will retrench
you will retrench
he/she/it will retrench
we will retrench
you will retrench
they will retrench
Future Perfect
I will have retrenched
you will have retrenched
he/she/it will have retrenched
we will have retrenched
you will have retrenched
they will have retrenched
Future Continuous
I will be retrenching
you will be retrenching
he/she/it will be retrenching
we will be retrenching
you will be retrenching
they will be retrenching
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been retrenching
you have been retrenching
he/she/it has been retrenching
we have been retrenching
you have been retrenching
they have been retrenching
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been retrenching
you will have been retrenching
he/she/it will have been retrenching
we will have been retrenching
you will have been retrenching
they will have been retrenching
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been retrenching
you had been retrenching
he/she/it had been retrenching
we had been retrenching
you had been retrenching
they had been retrenching
I would retrench
you would retrench
he/she/it would retrench
we would retrench
you would retrench
they would retrench
Past Conditional
I would have retrenched
you would have retrenched
he/she/it would have retrenched
we would have retrenched
you would have retrenched
they would have retrenched
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.retrench - tighten one's belt; use resources carefully
economize, husband, economise, conserve - use cautiously and frugally; "I try to economize my spare time"; "conserve your energy for the ascent to the summit"
2.retrench - make a reduction, as in one's workforce; "The company had to retrench"
cut down, reduce, trim back, trim down, cut, cut back, trim, bring down - cut down on; make a reduction in; "reduce your daily fat intake"; "The employer wants to cut back health benefits"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. economize, save, cut back, make savings, scrimp and save, be frugal, make economies, make cutbacks, tighten your belt, husband Cuts in spending forced them to retrench.
2. cut back, cut, limit, reduce, trim, diminish, decrease, prune, lessen, curtail, pare It promised to retrench its London-based markets.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


A. VTreducir, cercenar
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


vt expenditureeinschränken, kürzen; personneleinsparen; bookkürzen
visich einschränken
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[rɪˈtrɛntʃ] vifare delle economie
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
He had given her some hints of it the last spring in town; he had gone so far even as to say, "Can we retrench? Does it occur to you that there is any one article in which we can retrench?" and Elizabeth, to do her justice, had, in the first ardour of female alarm, set seriously to think what could be done, and had finally proposed these two branches of economy, to cut off some unnecessary charities, and to refrain from new furnishing the drawing-room; to which expedients she afterwards added the happy thought of their taking no present down to Anne, as had been the usual yearly custom.
I know I cannot live as I have done, but I must retrench where I can, and learn to be a better manager.
Bute, after the first shock of rage and disappointment, began to accommodate herself as best she could to her altered fortunes and to save and retrench with all her might.
'Never thinking of anybody but yourself-- why don't you retrench then--scrape up, hoard, economise, eh?'
YOUR sense of honour and honesty would have led you, I know, when aware of your situation, to attempt all the economy that would appear to you possible: and, perhaps, as long as your frugality retrenched only on your own comfort, you might have been suffered to practice it, but beyond that-- and how little could the utmost of your single management do to stop the ruin which had begun before your marriage?-- Beyond THAT, had you endeavoured, however reasonably, to abridge HIS enjoyments, is it not to be feared, that instead of prevailing on feelings so selfish to consent to it, you would have lessened your own influence on his heart, and made him regret the connection which had involved him in such difficulties?"
"No, no!" cried Mazarin, fearing that should his prisoner ever leave his prison he would be the more exasperated against him if he thus retrenched his amusement.
But this thy glory shall be soon retrenched; No more shalt thou by oracling abuse The Gentiles; henceforth oracles are ceased, And thou no more with pomp and sacrifice Shalt be enquired at Delphos or elsewhere-- At least in vain, for they shall find thee mute.
I told him that though my cargo of tobacco was damaged, yet that it was not quite lost; that the merchant I had been consigned to had so honestly managed for me that I had not wanted, and that I hoped, with frugal management, I should make it hold out till more would come, which I expected by the next fleet; that in the meantime I had retrenched my expenses, and whereas I kept a maid last season, now I lived without; and whereas I had a chamber and a dining-room then on the first floor, as he knew, I now had but one room, two pair of stairs, and the like.
Brief as my impromptu return had been, it had afforded me time to pick up a heart-ache; I remarked that Frances had already removed the red embers of her cheerful little fire from the grate: forced to calculate every item, to save in every detail, she had instantly on my departure retrenched a luxury too expensive to be enjoyed alone.
The number of multinational corporations that will retrench staff in 2009 will continue to grow as they follow the lead of Toyota, General Motors, DBS Bank, and Chrysler.
'"It's painful to watch an industry retrench," Keller said in a statement.
The consultants realized at this point that they needed to retrench and come up with a strategy to enable them to successfully conclude the engagement.