Synonyms of retreat in English:


See definition of retreat


1‘the army retreated’


withdraw, retire, draw back, pull back, pull out, fall back, give way, give ground, recoil, flee, take flight, beat a retreat, beat a hasty retreat, run away, run off, make a run for it, run for it, make off, take off, take to one's heels, make a break for it, bolt, make a quick exit, clear out, make one's getaway, escape, head for the hills

informal beat it, vamoose, skedaddle, split, cut and run, leg it, show a clean pair of heels, turn tail, scram, hook it, fly the coop, skip off, do a fade

British informal do a runner, scarper, do a bunk

North American informal light out, bug out, cut out, peel out, take a powder, skidoo

Australian informal go through, shoot through

archaic fly, levant


advance, dig in

2‘the tide was retreating’


go out, ebb, recede, flow out, fall, go down


come in

3‘the government had to retreat over the plan’


change one's decision, change one's mind, change one's attitude, change one's plans

back down, climb down, do a U-turn, backtrack, back-pedal, row back, retract, reconsider, eat one's words, eat humble pie, give in, concede defeat, shift one's ground

British do an about-turn


1‘a counteroffensive caused the retreat of the imperial army’


withdrawal, pulling back, flight

rare katabasis



2‘Democrats welcomed the President's retreat on the tax issue’


climbdown, backdown, retraction, concession, about-face, U-turn, rowback

British about-turn

3‘she invited us to her retreat in rural Sweden’


refuge, haven, resort, asylum, sanctuary, sanctum sanctorum

hideaway, hideout, hiding place

cottage, dacha, shelter, cabin, den, lair, nest

informal hidey-hole

4‘a period of retreat from the world for spiritual regeneration’


seclusion, withdrawal, retirement, solitude, isolation, hiding, privacy, sanctuary

rare sequestration, reclusion