Advertisement

return (v.)

early 14c., returnen, "to come back, come or go back to a former position" (intransitive), from Old French retorner, retourner "turn back, turn round, return" (Modern French retourner), from re- "back" (see re-) + torner "to turn" (see turn (v.)). Also in part from Medieval Latin retornare, returnare.

The transitive sense of "report officially, give an official statement or account" (in answer to a writ or demand) is from early 15c.; "to send (someone or something) back" is by mid-15c.; that of "to turn back" is from c. 1500. Meaning "to give in repayment or recompense" is from 1590s; that of "give back, restore" is from c. 1600. Related: Returned; returning.

return (n.)

late 14c., "act of coming back" to a place or state, also "formal or official report of election results," from Anglo-French retorn, retourn, Old French retorne, retourne, verbal noun from retorner "turn back, turn round, return" (see return (v.)). Also in part from Medieval Latin returnum. Related: Returns.

The meaning "official report of the result of an election" is from mid-15c. The sense of "act of giving by way of recompense" is from 1540s. In ball games from 1833 (cricket); specifically in tennis from 1886. The meaning "a yield, a profit, gain" in some trade or occupation is recorded from 1620s. The sense of "a thing sent back" is from 1875.

To wish someone many happy returns of the day was in Addison (1716). The postal return address, to which an item is to be returned if it could not be delivered, is attested from 1879; return envelope, enclosed for the recipient's reply to a letter, is by 1886. The traveler's return ticket is by 1847.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of return from WordNet
1
return (v.)
go or come back to place, condition, or activity where one has been before;
the professor returned to his teaching position after serving as Dean
return to your native land
return (v.)
give back;
Synonyms: render
return (v.)
go back to a previous state;
Synonyms: revert / retrovert / regress / turn back
return (v.)
go back to something earlier;
Synonyms: hark back / come back / recall
return (v.)
bring back to the point of departure;
Synonyms: take back / bring back
return (v.)
return in kind;
return her love
return a compliment
return (v.)
make a return;
return a kickback
return (v.)
answer back;
Synonyms: retort / come back / repay / riposte / rejoin
return (v.)
be restored;
Her old vigor returned
Synonyms: come back
return (v.)
pay back;
Synonyms: refund / repay / give back
return (v.)
pass down;
Synonyms: render / deliver
return (v.)
elect again;
Synonyms: reelect
return (v.)
be inherited by;
The land returned to the family
Synonyms: fall / pass / devolve
return (v.)
return to a previous position; in mathematics;
The point returned to the interior of the figure
return (v.)
give or supply;
Synonyms: render / yield / give / generate
return (v.)
submit (a report, etc.) to someone in authority;
2
return (n.)
document giving the tax collector information about the taxpayer's tax liability;
his gross income was enough that he had to file a tax return
Synonyms: tax return / income tax return
return (n.)
a coming to or returning home;
on his return from Australia we gave him a welcoming party
Synonyms: homecoming
return (n.)
the occurrence of a change in direction back in the opposite direction;
Synonyms: coming back
return (n.)
getting something back again;
Synonyms: restitution / restoration / regaining
return (n.)
the act of going back to a prior location;
they set out on their return to the base camp
return (n.)
the income or profit arising from such transactions as the sale of land or other property;
the average return was about 5%
Synonyms: issue / take / takings / proceeds / yield / payoff
return (n.)
happening again (especially at regular intervals);
the return of spring
Synonyms: recurrence
return (n.)
a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one);
return (n.)
the key on electric typewriters or computer keyboards that causes a carriage return and a line feed;
Synonyms: return key
return (n.)
a reciprocal group action;
in return we gave them as good as we got
Synonyms: paying back / getting even
return (n.)
a tennis stroke that sends the ball back to the other player;
he won the point on a cross-court return
return (n.)
(American football) the act of running back the ball after a kickoff or punt or interception or fumble;
return (n.)
the act of someone appearing again;
Synonyms: reappearance
From wordnet.princeton.edu