1 [ no obj. ] come or go back to a place or person:
• (return to) go back to (a particular state or activity):
• (return to) turn one's attention back to (something):
• (esp. of a feeling) come back or recur after a period of absence:
2 [ with obj. ] give, put, or send (something) back to a place or person:
• feel, say, or do (the same feeling, action, etc.) in response:
• (in tennis and other sports) hit or send (the ball) back to an opponent.
• after fielding (a kick), intercepting (a pass), or recovering (a fumble).
• (of a judge or jury) state or present (a verdict) in response to a formal request.
• Bridge lead (a card of a suit led earlier by one's partner).
• Architecture continue (a wall) in a changed direction, esp. at right angles.
3 [ with obj. ] yield or make (a profit):
4 [ with obj. ] (of an electorate) elect (a person or party) to office:
1 an act of coming or going back to a place or activity: he celebrated his safe return from the war | [ as modifier ] : a return flight.
• [ in sing. ] an act of going back to an earlier state or condition: the designer advocated a return to elegance.
• the action of giving, sending, or putting something back: we demand the return of our books and papers.
• Football a play in which the ball is caught after a kick or pass interception and is advanced by running; an advance of this kind.
• (in tennis and other sports) a stroke played in response to a serve or other stroke by one's opponent.
• a thing that has been given or sent back, esp. an unwanted ticket for a sports event or play.
• (also return ticket )chiefly Brit.a ticket that allows someone to travel to a place and back again; a round trip ticket.
• an electrical conductor bringing a current back to its source.
• (also return game )a second contest between the same opponents.
2 (often returns) a profit from an investment: product areas are being developed to produce maximum returns.
• a good rate of return.
3 an official report or statement submitted in response to a formal demand: census returns.
• Law an endorsement or report by a court officer or sheriff on a writ.
4 election to office: we campaigned for the return of Young and Elkins.
• an official report of the results of an election: falsification of the election return.
5 (also carriage return )a key pressed to move the carriage of an electric typewriter back to a fixed position.
• (also return key )a key pressed on a computer keyboard to simulate a carriage return in a word-processing program, or to indicate the end of a command or data string.
6 Architecture a part receding from the line of the front, for example the side of a house or of a window opening.