Which single word is the best antonym for "approach", where "approach" might be used in these sentences:

  • The speaker approached the podium.
  • The shopper approached the booth.

The word would mean "to move away from".

closed as off-topic by NVZ, tchrist Jan 20 '17 at 19:42

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  • 2
    Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. – NVZ Jan 20 '17 at 19:34
  • There are many good ones. The subject could withdraw, recede, or even egress (if leaving a place) if you prefer. But, yes, some context would help. – christopher m. Jan 20 '17 at 19:35

Withdraw would be my choice.

It's slightly awkward in its symmetry with approach, because one approaches something, whereas one withdraws FROM or AWAY FROM something, so it's not an exact grammatical match, but I like it because it CAN convey the same range of urgency that approach can, especially on the more passive side.

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