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return - definition and synonyms


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verb return pronunciation in British English /rɪˈtɜː(r)n/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlereturning
past tensereturned
past participlereturned
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  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 compliment1
  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


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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