- to draw back or in: to retract fangs.
- to draw back within itself or oneself, fold up, or the like, or to be capable of doing this: The blade retracts.
Origin of retract1
- to withdraw (a statement, opinion, etc.) as inaccurate or unjustified, especially formally or explicitly; take back.
- to withdraw or revoke (a decree, promise, etc.).
- to draw or shrink back.
- to withdraw a promise, vow, etc.
- to make a disavowal of a statement, opinion, etc.; recant.
Origin of retract2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for retract
Although Mefferd later apologized for the method of her accusations, she did not retract the substance of the claims.Megachurch Star Mark Driscoll’s Publishing Downfall
June 30, 2014
I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience.The Invention of the Ego in Martin Luther’s Defiance
November 3, 2013
But when reporters asked him why he felt the need to retract the comment, he said, “So you all could stop asking me about it, OK?”Herman Cain Drops Out: Relive His Most Cringeworthy Moments
November 13, 2011
His manager, agent, and close friends begged him to retract his statement.Glee's New Villain
September 20, 2010
Editor Mark Whitaker stood by the article, but had to retract the detail about the Quran.Newsweek's Greatest Hits
The Daily Beast
May 5, 2010
He knew she was too much like himself ever to retract her words.The Little Colonel
Annie Fellows Johnston
I do own myself beaten,' says she, 'and I retract my words.'Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
I repeat my words: I will not "retract," I cannot "repent of them."Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
Some of them were sent to the Tower, but they would not retract.History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II.
James Anthony Froude
No, I'll retract that, and on second thought reverse that judgment.Mixed Faces
- (tr) to draw in (a part or appendage)a snail can retract its horns; to retract the landing gear of an aircraft
- to withdraw (a statement, opinion, charge, etc) as invalid or unjustified
- to go back on (a promise or agreement)
- (intr) to shrink back, as in fear
- phonetics to modify the articulation of (a vowel) by bringing the tongue back away from the lips
Word Origin and History for retract
early 15c., "to draw (something) back," from Old French retracter (14c.) and directly from Latin retractus, past participle of retrahere "to draw back" (see retraction). Sense of "to revoke, recant, take back" is attested from 1540s, probably a back-formation from retraction. Related: Retracted; retracting.