retract

1
[ ri-trakt ]
/ rɪˈtrækt /

verb (used with object)

to draw back or in: to retract fangs.

verb (used without object)

to draw back within itself or oneself, fold up, or the like, or to be capable of doing this: The blade retracts.

Origin of retract

1
1400–50; late Middle English retracten < Latin retractus, past participle of retrahere to draw back, equivalent to re- re- + tractus (see tract1)

Definition for retract (2 of 2)

retract

2
[ ri-trakt ]
/ rɪˈtrækt /

verb (used with object)

to withdraw (a statement, opinion, etc.) as inaccurate or unjustified, especially formally or explicitly; take back.
to withdraw or revoke (a decree, promise, etc.).

verb (used without object)

to draw or shrink back.
to withdraw a promise, vow, etc.
to make a disavowal of a statement, opinion, etc.; recant.

Origin of retract

2
1535–45; < Latin retractāre to reconsider, withdraw, equivalent to re- re- + tractāre to drag, pull, take in hand (frequentative of trahere to pull)

Related forms

re·tract·a·ble, re·tract·i·ble, adjectivere·tract·a·bil·i·ty, re·tract·i·bil·i·ty, nounre·trac·ta·tion [ree-trak-tey-shuhn] /ˌri trækˈteɪ ʃən/, nounun·re·tract·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for retract

British Dictionary definitions for retract

retract

/ (rɪˈtrækt) /

verb

(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

Derived Forms

retractable or retractible, adjectiveretractability or retractibility, nounretractation (ˌriːtrækˈteɪʃən), nounretractive, adjective

Word Origin for retract

C16: from Latin retractāre to withdraw, from tractāre to pull, from trahere to drag
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