[proh-trak-shuh n, pruh-]


the act of protracting; prolongation; extension.
something that is protracted.
a drawing or rendering to scale.

Origin of protraction

1525–35; < Late Latin prōtractiōn- (stem of prōtractiō) prolongation. See protract, -ion
Related formsnon·pro·trac·tion, nouno·ver·pro·trac·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for protraction

Historical Examples of protraction

  • The protraction of the war was beginning to try the endurance of the nation.

  • The problem can be worked out, either by calculation or by protraction.

    The Art of Travel

    Francis Galton

  • It was a protraction only of what is worst in life; it was in no way a completion of what is best in it.

    Is Life Worth Living?

    William Hurrell Mallock

  • It soon became evident that human endurance would be insufficient to bear any protraction of the obsequies.

  • It would only be a protraction of my misery—a few hours more of wretched existence—for certainly I must meet death by hunger.

    The Boy Tar

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for protraction



the act or process of protracting
the state or condition of being protracted
a prolongation or protrusion
an extension of something in time or space
something that is extended in time or space
the irregular lengthening of a syllable that is usually short
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for protraction

mid-15c., "drawing or writing of numbers," from Middle French protraction (15c.) and directly from Late Latin protractionem (nominative protractio) "a drawing out or lengthening," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin protrahere "to draw forward, draw out, bring forth;" figuratively "bring to light, reveal, expose," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)). Meaning "act of drawing out or prolonging" is from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

protraction in Medicine




Extension of teeth or other maxillary or mandibular structures into a position anterior to the normal position.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.