Definition of retinue in US English:



  • A group of advisers, assistants, or others accompanying an important person.

    ‘the rock star's retinue of security guards and personal cooks’
    • ‘He dressed in silk kimonos, had a large retinue of servants and carried the signature daisho, or twin swords, of the Japanese ruling samurai class.’
    • ‘During his years with the court Ockeghem travelled outside France in the retinue of diplomatic missions, including one to Spain.’
    • ‘Classical texts suggest that feasts involving a chieftain and his retinue were held in a circle around a central hearth or fireplace, with the alcoholic beverage circulating either in a common cup or being served by retainers.’
    • ‘There were no ballrooms here, no antechambers upon antechambers, no retinues of servants and footmen.’
    • ‘In 1953 he was invited with a retinue of six people to Paris, and his son and successor, Moro Naaba Kougri, was later accorded the same privilege.’
    • ‘The number of people who had specialized roles such as in craft, trade, household retinues, holy orders, administrative offices, and military service remained small, but increased over the period.’
    • ‘In royal households where a whole retinue of courtiers was employed, more and more varied dishes in total, and dishes of higher status, were offered to those of higher rank and standing in the household.’
    • ‘Alfred answered the Danish threat by creating an impressive system of fortified burhs [boroughs] throughout his realm and by reforming the fyrd, changing it from a sporadic levy of king's men and their retinues into a standing force.’
    • ‘The scale and precise role of the retinue of officers and servants who travelled with a prince has not been established.’
    • ‘Some, like Emperor Rudolf II of Austria, had a genuine passion for the study of nature and drew to their courts a retinue of like-minded enthusiasts.’
    • ‘Landowners retained their own armed retinues, which might be used for law enforcement or in civil or foreign wars.’
    • ‘I am travelling to the capital to meet with the King tomorrow, you will accompany my retinue and I will give you the details of the mission once we reach the capital city.’
    • ‘In the 10th to 12th centuries the boyars formed the senior levels of the princes' retinues.’
    • ‘Ultimately, however, power clung to the warrior classes and to the lords with their own private retinues.’
    • ‘On his land, the Lord owned a hearth-hall, within which he housed his retinue of warriors.’
    • ‘On more than one occasion Weeks was a guest at government functions or local celebrations, which allowed him an intimate view of the local nobility and their retinues and provided him with valuable material for his canvases.’
    • ‘They received yearly subsidies that allowed them to entertain a large retinue of personal followers, called buccellarii after the superior type of bread they received compared to ordinary soldiers.’
    • ‘In the eleventh century the Norse kings probably had an immediate retinue of about ninety men, excluding menial servants and hangers on.’
    • ‘Sathe Clan Lords and their retinues had been arriving in Mainport for the past week and the town was buzzing as merchants made the most of the sudden boom in trade.’
    • ‘Country residences such as Bishop's Waltham were designed to accommodate the bishop and his household as well as powerful guests and their retinues.’
    entourage, escort, company, court, attendant company, staff, personnel, household, cortège, train, suite, following, bodyguard
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Late Middle English: from Old French retenue, feminine past participle (used as a noun) of retenir ‘keep back, retain’.