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in the Scots law of contract, the right for A not to pay money due to B under a contract until damages due by B to A under the same contract are ascertained. Thus, a claim for freight may be opposed by a claim for damage done to the goods in transit. In bankruptcy or liquidation, a party who is facing an illiquid claim may retain in respect of an illiquid sum owed to him by the bankrupt and it is not necessary that the debts should arise out of the same contract.

In the law of Sale of Goods 1979, where the property in goods has not passed to the buyer, the unpaid seller has a right to withhold delivery similar to and co-extensive with his rights of lien or retention and stoppage in transit where the property has passed to the buyer.

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

RETENTION, Scottish law. The right which the possessor of a movable has, of holding the same until he shall be satisfied for his claim either against such movable or the owner of it; a lien.
     2. The right of retention is of two kinds, namely, special or general. 1. Special retention is the right of withholding or retaining property of goods which are in one's possession under a contract, till indemnified for the labor or money expended on them. 2. General retention is the right to withhold or detain the property of another, in respect of any debt which happens to be due by the proprietor to the person who has the custody; or for a general balance of accounts arising on a particular train of employment. 2 Bell's Com. 90, 91, 5th ed. Vide Lien.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Urodynamic findings in chronic retention of urine and their relevance to the results of surgery.
Duration of procedure, any per- operative or post-operative complications like fever, blood in urine, residual stones, difficulty in passing urine and retention of urine were recorded.
Relation between successful treatment of cases of retention of urine in bullocks and the position of the caliculi.
This retention of urine lets the relevant minerals and salts involved in the stone formation to be in the urine as sediment.
(4,10,11) Patient often present with acute retention of urine with varying degree of renal impairment, hence are catheterised and kept on drugs and investigated for surgical intervention on later dates.
Bladder distention with retention of urine was observed in 95.00 percent cases during present study while Mishra (1997c).
This retention of urine lets the relevant minerals and salts involved in stone formation to be in the urine as sediment.
The patients admitted in Surgery Ward with the symptoms of pain in abdomen, burning in micturition, frequency of micturition, dribbling or weak stream of urine, retention of urine, haematuria and other symptoms of uraemia, signs such as distension of bladder or abdominal tenderness were admitted in surgical wards as provisional diagnosed cases of urinary calculus and were subjected to investigations including routine Hb%, TLC, DLC, RBS, urine analysis, renal function test, X-ray KUB region, USG and intravenous pyelography as and when required.
A Labrador retriever dog aged 7 years was presented with the history of haematuria, painful urination since last four days and retention of urine since a day.
Second commonest complaint was hematuria (25%) and retention of urine in (14.5%).
The male dogs were brought with the history of retention of urine for the last 3 weeks.
Deshraj, "Acute retention of urine due to a loose peritoneal body," British Journal of Urology, vol.