2. The place to which anyone retires; a place or privacy or safety; a refuge; an asylum. "He built his son a house of pleasure, and spared no cost to make a delicious retreat." (L'Estrange) "That pleasing shade they sought, a soft retreat From sudden April showers, a shelter from the heat." (Dryden)
3. <astronomy> The retiring of an army or body of men from the face of an enemy, or from any ground occupied to a greater distance from the enemy, or from an advanced position. The withdrawing of a ship or fleet from an enemy for the purpose of avoiding an engagement or escaping after defeat.
4. A special season of solitude and silence to engage in religious exercises. A period of several days of withdrawal from society to a religious house for exclusive occupation in the duties of devotion; as, to appoint or observe a retreat.
Origin: F. Retraite, fr. Retraire to withdraw, L. Retrahere; pref. Re- re- + trahere to draw. See Trace, and cf. Retract, Retrace.
(01 Mar 1998)
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