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retain +‎ -er



retainer (plural retainers)

  1. Any thing or person that retains.
  2. A dependent or follower of someone of rank.
    • 2021 October 19, David Graeber, David Wengrowr, “Unfreezing the ice age: the truth about humanity’s deep past”, in The Guardian, UK:
      If they possessed the means to marshal labour, pile up food resources and provender armies of year-round retainers, what sort of royalty would consciously elect not to do so.
  3. A paid servant, especially one who has been employed for many years.
  4. A fee one pays to reserve the other's time for services.
    This lawyer charges a retainer for his work.
  5. (dentistry) A device that holds teeth in position after orthodontic treatment.
    • 1981, “Too Drunk to Fuck”, performed by Dead Kennedys:
      You give me head / It makes it worse / Take out your fuckin' retainer / Put it in your purse
  6. (rail transport, mechanical engineering) A retaining valve.

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