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return - definition and synonyms

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verb     return pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlereturning
past tensereturned
past participlereturned
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to go back to a place where you were earlier, or to come back from a place where you have just been

    One day she just walked out and never returned.

    return to:

    Be careful. We want you to return to base in one piece.

    return from:

    And when do you return from Paris?

    return home:

    He returned home around midnight.

    1. a.
      if a feeling or situation returns, it starts to happen again

      I see that the good weather has returned.

      If the nausea returns, take one of these pills.

      doubts/fears/suspicions return:

      All my fears returned when I realized he’d gone to see her again.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to put, send, or take something back to the place where it came from

    She had to return the dress because it didn’t fit.

    return something to someone:

    Please complete the questionnaire and return it to the personnel department.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to do or say something to someone that is similar to something that they have done or said to you

    I waved and called to her, and she returned my greeting.

    I’m sorry I wasn’t able to return your phone call earlier.

    return the favour (=help someone because they have helped you):

    Thanks for helping me. I’ll try to return the favour some day.

    return someone’s fire (=shoot at someone who has shot at you):

    As soon as we started shooting, the enemy returned our fire.

    See also compliment
  4. 4
    [transitive] business to produce a particular amount of profit on money that has been invested

    The £10,000 she invested returned a handsome profit.

  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] to hit a ball back to your opponent in a game such as tennis

    She usually returns serve very well.

  6. 6
    [transitive] to elect someone to a position, especially in parliament
    return someone to something:

    The voters returned her to parliament last year.

    return someone to office:

    It seems unlikely that the President will be returned to office.

phrasal verbs

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