verb re·tard \ri-ˈtärd\

: to slow down the development or progress of (something)

Full Definition of RETARD

transitive verb
:  to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or accomplishment :  impede
:  to delay academic progress by failure to promote
intransitive verb
:  to undergo retardation
re·tard·er noun

Origin of RETARD

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French retarder, from Latin retardare, from re- + tardus slow
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of RETARD

delay, retard, slow, slacken, detain mean to cause to be late or behind in movement or progress. delay implies a holding back, usually by interference, from completion or arrival <bad weather delayed our arrival>. retard suggests reduction of speed without actual stopping <language barriers retarded their progress>. slow and slacken also imply a reduction of speed, slow often suggesting deliberate intention <medication slowed the patient's heart rate>, slacken an easing up or relaxing of power or effort <on hot days runners slacken their pace>. detain implies a holding back beyond a reasonable or appointed time <unexpected business had detained her>.

delay, procrastinate, lag, loiter, dawdle, dally mean to move or act slowly so as to fall behind. delay usually implies a putting off (as a beginning or departure) <we cannot delay any longer>. procrastinate implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy <procrastinates about making decisions>. lag implies failure to maintain a speed set by others <lagging behind in technology>. loiter and dawdle imply delay while in progress, especially in walking, but dawdle more clearly suggests an aimless wasting of time <loitered at several store windows> <children dawdling on their way home from school>. dally suggests delay through trifling or vacillation when promptness is necessary <stop dallying and get to work>.


noun re·tard

Definition of RETARD

\ri-ˈtärd\ :  a holding back or slowing down :  retardation
\ˈrē-ˌtärd\ often offensive :  a retarded person; also :  a person held to resemble a retarded person in behavior

First Known Use of RETARD

RETARD Defined for Kids


verb re·tard \ri-ˈtärd\

Definition of RETARD for Kids

:  to slow down :  delay <Bad weather retarded our progress.>
Medical Dictionary


transitive verb re·tard \ri-ˈtärd\

Medical Definition of RETARD

:  to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or development <retard spoilage> <retard hair loss>


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