Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Retain \Re*tain"\ (r[-e]*t[=a]n"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Retained (r[-e]*t[=a]nd"); p. pr. & vb. n. Retaining.] [F. retainir, L. retinere; pref. re- re- + tenere to hold, keep. See Tenable, and cf. Rein of a bridle, Retention, Retinue.]
To continue to hold; to keep in possession; not to lose, part with, or dismiss; to restrain from departure, escape, or the like. ``Thy shape invisible retain.''
Be obedient, and retain Unalterably firm his love entire.
An executor may retain a debt due to him from the testator.
To keep in pay; to employ by a preliminary fee paid; to hire; to engage; as, to retain a counselor.
A Benedictine convent has now retained the most learned father of their order to write in its defense.
To restrain; to prevent. [Obs.]
--Sir W. Temple.
Retaining wall (Arch. & Engin.), a wall built to keep any movable backing, or a bank of sand or earth, in its place; -- called also retain wall.
Syn: To keep; hold; restrain. See Keep.
n. any of several structures used to restrain a vertical-faced mass of earth
n. a wall that is built to resist lateral pressure (especially a wall built to prevent the advance of a mass of earth)
Retaining walls are structures designed to restrain soil to unnatural slopes. They are used to bound soils between two different elevations often in areas of terrain possessing undesirable slopes or in areas where the landscape needs to be shaped severely and engineered for more specific purposes like hillside farming or roadway overpasses.
Usage examples of "retaining wall".
Almost unconsciously, he took a step backward, then another and another, until he felt his heel bump against the rock of the retaining wall.
The first time I heard soft cursing as I descended the remnants of the lower retaining wall.
The old retaining wall lay beneath the nineteenth-century footings, and the hole near its base was clearly part of an earlier structure.
On the side of the pool nearest the house, where the spring-board is, there's a concrete retaining wall which a swimmer might climb over.
Grunting with effort, after a working lifetime of four-course meals and not very much in the way of coherent exercise, Charlie climbed up the retaining wall and then crouched on the very edge of the lawn like a middle-aged backstop who refuses to admit that he is over the hill.
Rick thought the row of rocks probably constituted a retaining wall, so that made it a terrace instead of a meadow.
Rick could see now that in the base of the high retaining wall was a considerable recess.
On the other side of the retaining wall loomed the Wat and its towers, separated from me by several hundred meters of windy grassland, where dozens of cows and water buffaloes grazed near a lily pond.
Fort Pentagon's walls were sloping turf above a brick retaining wall and dry moat, and the fall wildflowers that starred them contrasted oddly with the black snouts of the cannon.
As the sulfurous-yellow energy blade struck, the yammosk shrieked and its tentacles flailed, generating waves that cascaded down over the yorik-coral retaining wall of the pool and washed across the deck.
The police would question the people on the beach, all the people on the sidewalk at the top of the retaining wall, but Emma was burrowed against him, she was shuddering, he had to get her home.