1. One who, or that which, retains.2. One who is retained or kept in service; an attendant; an adherent; a hanger-on.3. Hence, a servant, not a domestic, but occasionally attending and wearing his master's livery. Cowell.4. (Law, a) The act of a client by which he engages a lawyer or counselor to manage his cause. (b) The act of withholding what one has in his hands by virtue of some right. (c) A fee paid to engage a lawyer or counselor to maintain a cause, or to prevent his being employed by the opposing party in the case; -- called also retaining fee. Bouvier. Blackstone.5. The act of keeping dependents, or the state of being in dependence. Bacon.
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From retain, from French retenir (“to retain”).
retainer (plural retainers) A dependent or follower of someone of rank. A paid servant, especially one who has been employed for many years. Any thing or person that retains. A fee one pays to reserve the other's time for services. This lawyer charges a retainer for his work. (dentistry): A device that holds teeth in position after orthodontic treatment.
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