You can use retention to mean the ability to keep or hold. If you have extraordinary powers of retention, you remember everything you hear or learn.

  • Pronunciation: /rɪ'tɛnʃən/
  • English Description: a prolonged period of timethe act of holding back or keeping within your possession or control
  • Synonyms: holding
  • Chinese Translation: 保留(Bao3 liu2)
  • Spanish Translation: la retención
  • STORY: Are your ankles ever swollen after a long flight? This comes from the lack of movement which can cause the retention of water. The roots of the word, Latin re- "back" and tenere "to hold," say it all. You often use the word in the military or business contexts to talk about keeping soldiers, or employees, from leaving. If you're lucky, they might offer you a retention bonus to prevent you from quitting.


  • That has led to high levels of retention, a rarity in the turnover-plagued outsourcing industry.
  • The analysis showed that men who were passed over for partnership were routinely offered retention bonuses to keep them from quitting.

*New word description, story and part of "EXAMPLE SENTENCE" are cited in