- to take away a part, as from quality, value, or reputation (usually followed by from).
- to draw away or divert; distract: to detract another's attention from more important issues.
- Archaic. to take away (a part); abate: The dilapidated barn detracts charm from the landscape.
Origin of detract
Examples from the Web for detract
“Pillows are ‘light,’ ‘fluffy,’ and may detract from our message,” she wrote.Is Columbia Failing Campus Rape Victims?
November 6, 2014
His conservatism, which is more of a cultural than political kidney, seems to fascinate, delight or detract critics.Whit Stillman on the 20th Anniversary of ‘Barcelona’, His New Amazon Series, and the Myth of the Ugly Expat
August 10, 2014
Abortion-rights advocates by no means seek to detract from LGBT movement or begrudge it victories.Why Does Spain Love Gay Marriage But Hate Abortion?
March 7, 2014
But the religious iconography did not detract from the excitement brewing in the room.Thom Browne’s Women’s Line Evolves in the Wake of Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Ensemble
Misty White Sidell
February 12, 2013
Clarence Thomas had 48 votes against him, a fact that does not, alas, detract a whit from his votes and opinions.The Hagel Nomination
January 7, 2013
Criticism cannot reach, envy cannot detract from, emulation cannot equal them.
One would not detract an iota from the achievements of these gallant adventurers.Policing the Plains
You think the interest of the love-business will detract from the interest of the homicide's fate?The Story of a Play
W. D. Howells
In no way did they detract from the dignified grace of the magnificent hall.Islands of Space
John W Campbell
But this problem could not detract from what had been accomplished on the bases.Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965
Morris J. MacGregor, Jr.
- (when intr, usually foll by from) to take away a part (of); diminishher anger detracts from her beauty
- (tr) to distract or divert
- (tr) obsolete to belittle or disparage
Word Origin and History for detract
early 15c., from Middle French détracter, from Latin detractus, past participle of detrahere "to take down, pull down, disparage" (see detraction). Related: Detracted; detracting.