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return Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun document giving the tax collector information about the taxpayer's tax liability
    tax return; income tax return.
    • his gross income was enough that he had to file a tax return
  2. noun a coming to or returning home
    • on his return from Australia we gave him a welcoming party
  3. noun the occurrence of a change in direction back in the opposite direction
    coming back.
  4. noun getting something back again
    regaining; restoration; restitution.
    • upon the restitution of the book to its rightful owner the child was given a tongue lashing
  5. noun the act of going back to a prior location
    • they set out on their return to the base camp
  6. noun the income or profit arising from such transactions as the sale of land or other property
    yield; takings; take; issue; proceeds; payoff.
    • the average return was about 5%
  7. noun happening again (especially at regular intervals)
    • the return of spring
  8. noun a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)
    rejoinder; counter; retort; replication; comeback; riposte.
    • it brought a sharp rejoinder from the teacher
  9. noun the key on electric typewriters or computer keyboards that causes a carriage return and a line feed
    return key.
  10. noun a reciprocal group action
    paying back; getting even.
    • in return we gave them as good as we got
  11. noun a tennis stroke that sends the ball back to the other player
    • he won the point on a cross-court return
  12. noun (American football) the act of running back the ball after a kickoff or punt or interception or fumble
  13. noun the act of someone appearing again
    • his reappearance as Hamlet has been long awaited
  14. verb go or come back to place, condition, or activity where one has been before
    • return to your native land
    • the professor returned to his teaching position after serving as Dean
  15. verb give back
    • render money
  16. verb go back to a previous state
    retrovert; turn back; revert; regress.
    • We reverted to the old rules
  17. verb go back to something earlier
    recall; come back; hark back.
    • This harks back to a previous remark of his
  18. verb bring back to the point of departure
    bring back; take back.
  19. verb return in kind
    • return a compliment
    • return her love
  20. verb make a return
    • return a kickback
  21. verb answer back
    rejoin; retort; repay; riposte; come back.
  22. verb be restored
    come back.
    • Her old vigor returned
  23. verb pay back
    refund; repay; give back.
    • Please refund me my money
  24. verb pass down
    deliver; render.
    • render a verdict
    • deliver a judgment
  25. verb elect again
  26. verb be inherited by
    devolve; pass; fall.
    • The estate fell to my sister
    • The land returned to the family
    • The estate devolved to an heir that everybody had assumed to be dead
  27. verb return to a previous position; in mathematics
    • The point returned to the interior of the figure
  28. verb give or supply
    generate; yield; render; give.
    • The cow brings in 5 liters of milk
    • This year's crop yielded 1,000 bushels of corn
    • The estate renders some revenue for the family
  29. verb submit (a report, etc.) to someone in authority
    • submit a bill to a legislative body

Re*turn" intransitive verb
OE. returnen, retournen, F. retourner; pref. re- re- + tourner to turn. See Turn.
imperfect & past participle Returned ; present participle & verbal noun Returning
  1. To turn back; to go or come again to the same place or condition. "Return to your father's house." Chaucer.
    On their embattled ranks the waves return. Milton.
    If they returned out of bondage, it must be into a state of freedom. Locke.
    Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Gen. iii. 19.
  2. To come back, or begin again, after an interval, regular or irregular; to appear again.
    With the year Seasons return; but not me returns Day or the sweet approach of even or morn. Milton.
  3. To speak in answer; to reply; to respond.
    He said, and thus the queen of heaven returned. Pope.
  4. To revert; to pass back into possession.
    And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David. 1Kings xii. 26.
  5. To go back in thought, narration, or argument. "But to return to my story." Fielding.
Re*turn" transitive verb
  1. To bring, carry, send, or turn, back; as, to return a borrowed book, or a hired horse.
    Both fled attonce, ne ever back returned eye. Spenser.
  2. To repay; as, to return borrowed money.
  3. To give in requital or recompense; to requite.
    The Lord shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head. 1 Kings ii. 44.
  4. To give back in reply; as, to return an answer; to return thanks.
  5. To retort; to throw back; as, to return the lie.
    If you are a malicious reader, you return upon me, that I affect to be thought more impartial than I am. Dryden.
  6. To report, or bring back and make known.
    And all the people answered together, . . . and Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. Ex. xix. 8.
  7. To render, as an account, usually an official account, to a superior; to report officially by a list or statement; as, to return a list of stores, of killed or wounded; to return the result of an election.
  8. Hence, to elect according to the official report of the election officers. Eng.
  9. To bring or send back to a tribunal, or to an office, with a certificate of what has been done; as, to return a writ.
  10. To convey into official custody, or to a general depository.
    Instead of a ship, he should llevy money, and return the same to the treasurer for his majesty's use. Clarendon.
  11. (Tennis) To bat (the ball) back over the net.
  12. (Card Playing) To lead in response to the lead of one's partner; as, to return a trump; to return a diamond for a club. Syn. -- To restore; requite; repay; recompense; render; remit; report.
Re*turn" noun
  1. The act of returning (intransitive), or coming back to the same place or condition; as, the return of one long absent; the return of health; the return of the seasons, or of an anniversary.
    At the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee. 1 Kings xx. 22.
    His personal return was most required and necessary. Shak.
  2. The act of returning (transitive), or sending back to the same place or condition; restitution; repayment; requital; retribution; as, the return of anything borrowed, as a book or money; a good return in tennis.
    You made my liberty your late request: Is no return due from a grateful breast? Dryden.
  3. That which is returned. Specifically: (a) A payment; a remittance; a requital.
    I do expect return Of thrice three times the value of this bond. Shak.
    (b) An answer; as, a return to one's question. (c) An account, or formal report, of an action performed, of a duty discharged, of facts or statistics, and the like; as, election returns; a return of the amount of goods produced or sold; especially, in the plural, a set of tabulated statistics prepared for general information. (d) The profit on, or advantage received from, labor, or an investment, undertaking, adventure, etc.
    The fruit from many days of recreation is very little; but from these few hours we spend in prayer, the return is great. Jer. Taylor.
  4. (Arch.) The continuation in a different direction, most often at a right angle, of a building, face of a building, or any member, as a molding or mold; -- applied to the shorter in contradistinction to the longer; thus, a facade of sixty feet east and west has a return of twenty feet north and south.
  5. (Law) (a) The rendering back or delivery of writ, precept, or execution, to the proper officer or court. (b) The certificate of an officer stating what he has done in execution of a writ, precept, etc., indorsed on the document. (c) The sending back of a commission with the certificate of the commissioners. (d) A day in bank. See Return day, below. Blackstone.
  6. (Mil. & Naval) An official account, report, or statement, rendered to the commander or other superior officer; as, the return of men fit for duty; the return of the number of the sick; the return of provisions, etc.
  7. pl. (Fort. & Mining) The turnings and windings of a trench or mine.

Webster 1913