verb (ret, t, ing)
- (transitive) To prepare (flax etc) for use, by separating the fibers from the woody part by process of soaking, macerate, macerating, and other treatment.
- 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 621:
- : the lowland nearly silent except for water-thrushes, the harvested fields, the smell of hops being dried in kilns, flax pulled up and piled in sheaves, in local practice not to be retted till the spring
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