Is there a word similar to retrieve which means the opposite? (like the words send and receive) I do not know if there is such a combination. I have been thinking about words which mean the opposite my self, words such as:

Drop off.

But I have no idea if the word retrieve has an actual counter part.

I'm a programmer and am using retrieve to retrieve data from a task I created earlier, I would now like to provide information to that task.

  • 2
    Retrieve has a lot of meanings. It can't have an antonym unless any context is given. If you retrieve something from your memory, the antonym is very obvious.
    – user140086
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 14:11
  • 2
    Could you provide an example sentence? An antonym may be context-dependent.
    – A.P.
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 14:11
  • 1
    In the context you imply I think you would speak of stored data. Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 14:24
  • 2
    Why would you store it if you weren't going to do something with it? Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 14:28
  • 1
    "Post" or "transmit" are a couple more words that come to mind.
    – user139454
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 14:40

6 Answers 6


Dispatch may be suitable for you.

"To send with purpose".


In a programming context the first thing that comes to mind when you mention 'retrieve data' is that it was previously stored and waiting for you to come and get it.

Otherwise you would use 'calculate' instead of retrieve when it's freshly generated data or 'receive' when another system/process provides the data to you.

Other options for store depending on your setup could be:

  • feed
  • provide
  • send
  • transmit
  • serve

All of these words and their derivaties are used in technical specs regularly. For example: data feeds, data providers, data transmission, etc.

Check perhaps with your colleagues to see if there is a generally accepted word you can use. As there is no clear-cut answer it might be best to follow convention.


The word 'retrieve' in your context means 'to bring back'. The right antonym should be 'abandon'.

  • You mean abandon?
    – user140086
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 14:49
  • Yes, that's correct.
    – aswaaks
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 14:50
  • Retrieve means to bring the stored data back/again. If you do not bring them back, you leave or abandon them.
    – aswaaks
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 14:54

In the context you described, upload could work as defined in Merriam-Webster:

to transfer (as data or files) from a computer to the memory of another device (as a larger or remote computer)

  1. She uploaded the pictures from her digital camera to her computer.
  2. Upload files to the Internet

As in the No. 2 example, you can use upload as an antonym of "download/retrive".

You can also consider using return as well. You retrive something and return.

To bring, give, send, or take (something) to the place that it came from or the place where it should go


The antonym for retrieve is lose, i.e. fail to retrieve.

In addition, consider the adjective unretrieved.

unretrieved: not retrieved: unretrieved data



I know I'm resurrecting an old post but I can't stand the suggestions given. "abandon","To send with purpose", "lose", "unretrieved"? Seriously? You guys are all crazy word nerds.

Vincent, if you think of memory as a little box, then the software "stores" data in memory and then "retrieves" it from memory. If you think of memory as a notebook, then the software "writes" data on the memory and then "reads" it from the memory.

Yes, data is being transferred, sent, posted, whatever, but that's just the way the goal is achieved, and the goal is to store data in a relatively permanent place for later use.

The data is not abandoned there because it will be retrieved later. (Imagine telling your kid you are going to abandon her in school, lol)

The data is not lost there because you know where to find it, where you put it, of course.

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