He went into retreat

Hi teachers,

Q: Where’s your friend?
Ans: He went into retreat.
Can I also say the following sentence?
He’s in retreat now.

What is the meaning of the “retreat” here?

In this sentence:
retreat - (verb) withdraw to a quiet or secluded place.
retreat - (noun) a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax.

Usually, in this sense, we need the noun, so the phrases should carry the article as appropriate.
He went into a retreat.
He’s in a retreat now.

Thank you, Madam BN.
But there was no article with “retreat” as a verb in the Oxford dictionary. But it has an article with “retreat” as a noun.

Yes, that is what I said. There should be an article because in this sense it is usually a noun.

It is worth noting that ‘go into retreat’ (without an article) refers to nuns /monks leaving their usual routine to spend time in prayer and contemplation. In an entirely different context you could say that ‘go in retreat’ suggests withdraw or take no further part in something when people no longer want to invest in a company that has acquired a bad reputation.


They went to retreat.
They went about retreat.

Do the sentences make sense?

‘Retreat’ with the meaning of contemplation would need to be:
They went into (a) retreat.

‘went about retreat’ does not work.