retard (v.)

late 15c., retarden, "make slow or slower; keep back, hinder, delay" (transitive), from French retarder "restrain, hold (someone) back, keep (someone from doing something); come to a stop" (13c.) and directly from Latin retardare "make slow, delay, keep back, hinder" (see retardation). Related: Retarded; retarding. The intransitive sense of "be delayed" is from 1640s. 

The noun retard is recorded from 1788 in the sense "retardation, delay;" from 1970 in the offensive meaning "retarded person," originally American English, with accent on first syllable. Other words used for "one who is mentally retarded" include retardate (1956, from Latin retardatus), and U.S. newspapers 1950s-60s often used retardee (1950).

updated on July 26, 2021

Definitions of retard from WordNet
retard (v.)
cause to move more slowly or operate at a slower rate;
This drug will retard your heart rate
retard (v.)
be delayed;
retard (v.)
slow the growth or development of;
The brain damage will retard the child's language development
Synonyms: check / delay
retard (v.)
lose velocity; move more slowly;
Synonyms: decelerate / slow / slow down / slow up
retard (n.)
a person of subnormal intelligence;
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.