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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).

Retret(e, -treit(t, -tra(i)t(e, v.1 Also: ra- and -treat; -trit. P.t. and p.p. -it, etc., and retrett, -trete, -treat; -trat. [Late ME and e.m.E. retrete (1422), -treat (1523), -trait (a1548), OF retraire (p.p. retrait) (1080 in Larousse) L. retrahere, or retraitier (1190 in Greimas), L. retractāre.]

I. tr. 1. To revoke or rescind (a decision, sentence, or the like).See Rescind v. for further examples.pres. c1420 Wynt. viii 932.
He gert thame thare decrete retret
1497 Acta Conc. II 84.
Thai can nocht retret the act gevin … in this mater
1538–9 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 232.
The lordis of counsale retretis … and adnullis the said pretendit rolment and decrete
1567 Reg. Privy C. I 543.
Quhilk commissioun of lieutenendrie … his hienes dischargeis, rescindis, and declaris, cassis, retretis, and decernis of nane effect
1596 Crim. Trials I ii 370.
The act … retretis, and … hes retretit all sic processis
(b) a1500 Henr. Prayer 36.
Retreit the sentence and thy iust iugement
1498–9 Acta Conc. II 324.
Allegiand that the Lordis of Consale micht nocht retreit the sade act and decreit nor hade na power thareto
1570 Sat. P. xxi 48.
Gods vengeance is decreittit For giltles blude, ȝe knaw not how Denuncit, to retreitt it
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 666.
The law that wald retreit This ordour … Of ouir greit arrogance dois smell
1602 Acts Sederunt ii 34.
The quhilk day the Lordis retreittis all priviledgis grantit to [etc.]
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxii 13. 1657 Balfour Ann. III 93.(c) 1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 182.
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. i i 3 (1678) 6.p.t. 1533 Bell. Livy I 135/28.
Ȝit thai retretit thare sentence
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 156.
Mony of the byschoppis … retreatit thair awin deliberatioun
(b) 1674 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS 14 Dec.
And lastlie they reschind and retrat the act daittit 14 April 1663
p.p. 1489 Acta Aud. 134/2.
A decrett … anent the annuale rent … to be retrett cassit and annullit
1490 Acta Conc. I 194/1.
The said James wes nocht callit to here the said act retrett
(b) 1494 Acta Conc. I 352/2.
A decrett … retrettit & agane brocht for certane causis contenit in the summondis
1496 Ib. II 19, etc.
The sammyn assignacione … to be decernit of nane availe … and to be retretit
1522 Ib. MS XXXIII 10b.
The retour proces and all that followit thairapon to be retretit cassit and adnullit
1530 Lennox Mun. 239.
Without the decreyt … be ratretit
1533 Inchcolm Chart. 65.
Na new perambulatioun … quhill the first perambulatioun wer retretit
1575 Reg. Privy C. II 448.(c) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (S.T.S.) xiv 51.
Sa mony ane sentence retreitit
1535 Stewart 39791.
(d) 1662 Aberd. Council Lett. IV 223.
(e) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5776.
That sentence sall nocht be retratit
1556 Perth Guildry 300 (17 April).
And to heir … the samyn cassit retraitit and annullit
a1650 Row 116.
His excommunication wes … retraited upon certaine conditions
(f) 1649 Glasgow B. Rec. II 172.

b. To have (the record of an action) declared invalid, and withdrawn. 1542 Reg. Privy S. II 690/1.
In cais the said Johne retreit nocht the rolment of court gevin aganis him

c. To induce (a court) to revoke a decision. c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 5.
To get sum aduocat expert: Wald Venus court retreit, cast or conuert
1580 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. XIX 131.
Quhilk feuing of the saidis landis thay culd not retreit nor annul
1587 Acts III 440/1.
We revoik casis annull and retreit all infeftmentis donationis alienations and dispositionis grantit be ws … of all offices [etc.]
1587 Glasgow Chart. I ii 195.
The saidis landis now annext … sal happin to be retreitit and reduceit for the … caussis heireftir expressit
1606 Chart. Coupar A. II 220.
With expres power to the said James … to retreit and reduce quhatsumever infeftmentis takis assedationes [etc.]
1633 Acts V 25/1.
His majestie … annulls retreats and rescinds all new infeftments maid [etc.]
Ib. 25/2, 26/1, 2.

d. To retract or withdraw (a charter or other legal document, also a right previously granted, as by charter, etc.). 1493 Acta Aud. 182/2.
Certane charteris letteris and evidentis … apon the landis of Grammispark … retrettit reformit cassit and annullit
1515 Douglas Corr. 68.
Arbrocht, Legacy and other facultyes quhilkis ar nedfull and all ways man be retretyt
1534–5 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 435.
Ane sentence … retretand his few of the landis of Houstoun
1535 Reg. Privy S. II 237/2.
That our soverane lord … revokis, cassis, retretis, adnullis and dischargis all thir charteris [etc.]
1577 Montgomery Mem. II 217.
As gif the said feall and band wer reducit and retreittit be ane decreit

e. To cancel or annul (a marriage). a1578 Pitsc. (1728) 180.
The marriage was retreated in plain parliament

2. To undo (something previously done). a1538 Abell 46a.
Justin … retretit at Anastais did aganis the kirk
a1639 Spotsw. Hist. (1655) 42.
Since he could not retreat what was done

b. To delete (a signature). a1650 Row 500.
And some surpryzed with it, upon … second thoughts retreated their subscriptions

c. To retract (an error). 1562 Knox Ressoning 196.
Albeit they retreat there formar error
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 138.
Melancthon … retreitit this errour aganis frie vill

d. To withdraw (something previously said). c1600 Montg. Suppl. x 11.
Except ‘my sueit’ … I do repeit with fervencie Quhilk to retreit, luif causis fleit
1635 Dickson Wr. 74.
Job … in substance acknowledges his wrong, and retreats his saying

3. To withhold (a payment). c1575 Balfour Pract. 616.
Gif thay [sc. seamen] gang not sa far as thay wer hyrit to, thair wages sall be diminisht and retreitit

II. 4. intr. To go back, withdraw, retire a. To obtain safety or security, b. In search of seclusion.a. 1460 Hay Alex. (S.T.S.) 1763.
Thus Nicolas was in the toun retretit
a1586 Lindsay MS 9b.
Quhan thai ar … ilkane retrettit to his baner or pennoun
1636 Rep. Maxwell Stuart Mun. 35.
The Hollanders busches … retraites in tym of storme to … creikes and harboreis in Orknay
b. c1490 Porteous Noblenes 65/129 (Ch. & M.).
Nobles … luk ye … not … to retrete sen leaute seikis na nuke

5. reflex., in sense 4 above. 1460 Hay Alex. (S.T.S.) 3239.
Quhan the fleand folk wald thame retret Into the toun
1460 Hay Alex. (S.T.S.) 4099.
Alexander … Syne till his chalmer past and him retrete [: grete = great] Disarmit him and made him richt gud chere

6. tr. To draw or lead back; to take away; to cause to withdraw. 1460 Hay Alex. (S.T.S.) 3293.
With that the king retretit his baneris And to the palliouns led the presonneris
1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. x 28.
Such as the faits Hath chaing'd or retreited

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"Retret v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2022 <>



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