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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 ?
For Co-Cr clasps, preformed half round standard (1.2 mm thickness) clasp patterns with occlusal rests, retentive and reciprocal arms (Klammern Clasp, Dentaurum, Ispringen, Germany) were adapted on the refractory investment cast.
Results: The retentive forces created by the Southern Implants plastic clips and Locator nylon inserts fell exponentially with the number of the test cycle.
Intraoral retentive aids are usually considered comfortable for the patient for easy removal and for the examination of the surgical site by the dentist in order to check for recurrence of tumour.
Similar results was demonstrated by Chew12 and was later confirmed by Ghani and Picton13 who demonstrated that the liquid/paste form of denture adhesive rendered the ill-fitting dentures almost as retentive as well fitting one and is better than powder form.
Step7 system with one connection consumed 13672 b of EPROM, 7996 b of work memory and 802 b of retentive memory.
Retentive clasp arms must be capable of flexing and returning to their original form and should retain an RPD satisfactorily.
Further, 512 KB on-board data and program memory and 48 KB retentive memory enhance operation.
Brandow, a noted New York journalist and essayist, discusses the first 30 years of New York City's "poop scoop" law, noting how it still stirs up arguments about sanitation standards, libertarianism and even anal retentive behavior.
Lindum Wildflower is a mixture of wildflowers and grasses growing in a moisture retentive biodegradable felt which rolls out to provide an instant established green roof.
The new "Heat Island effect inhibition pavement" employs a double layer system, "coal ash asphalt layer" and "coal ash roadbed layer", both of which are water retentive.
This volume describes a new generation of magnetic retentive dental appliances that have been developed thanks to stronger magnets and laser welding for corrosion prevention.
It also offers retentive data backup and real time clock.