Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

return - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     return pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [singular/uncountable] a situation in which you go back to a place or come back from a place
    return from:

    Harry had met Olivia shortly after his return from India.

    return to:

    Back at the hotel, John was packing for his return to London.

    on someone’s return (from/to something):

    On her return to England, she published an account of her travels.

  2. 2
    [singular/uncountable] a situation in which you go back to a previous activity or condition
    return to:

    the country’s return to democratic rule

    1. a.
      the start of a feeling or situation again
      return of:

      After a long winter, they eagerly awaited the return of spring.

  3. 3
    [countable/uncountable] the action of putting, sending, or taking something back to the place where it came from
    on/upon (the) return of something:

    Your deposit will be refunded upon return of the bicycle.

  4. 4
    [countable/uncountable] a profit on money that you have invested
    return of:

    We were able to get a return of 10% on our investment.

    return on:

    This represents a likely return on capital of over 20% in the first year.

    See also rate of return
  5. 5
    [countable] British a round-trip

    I’d like two returns to Glasgow, please.

    1. a.
      a ticket for an event that you give back because you no longer want it, so that it can be sold to someone else
      Synonyms and related words
  6. 7
    [countable] an official form that you must fill out, especially one involving taxes
    See also tax return
  7. 8
    [uncountable] a return key

    PressReturn” if you wish to proceed.

  8. 9
    [countable] the action of hitting a ball back to an opponent in a game such as tennis

    Williams hit a wonderful return.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play