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.
Other definitions for retract (2 of 2)
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.
- re·tract·a·ble, re·tract·i·ble, adjective
- re·tract·a·bil·i·ty, re·tract·i·bil·i·ty, noun
- re·trac·ta·tion [ree-trak-tey-shuhn], /ˌri trækˈteɪ ʃən/, noun
- un·re·tract·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use retract in a sentence
Keatts, Lewis and Sara Libby had to scrap their first podcast recording Thursday when NBC 7 retracted its story.
In a statement Friday, Bry disavowed any responsibility for spreading misinformation by promoting the story while it was disputed but not yet retracted.
Once the plastic sticks, one for each sample, are retracted and sealed in a bag marked “biohazard,” the residents are hustled out of the facility.Hong Kong’s citywide COVID-19 testing has become a barometer of public trust | eamonbarrett | September 9, 2020 | Fortune
Sri Lankan police retracted the mistake, but not before Majeed received death threats.
In fairness to the candidates, though, the paper has not written or announced that it withdrew its support or retracted its view that, for example, Elliott should not be fired.
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 | Warren Throckmorton | June 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Thomas Cahill | November 3, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Sara Gilford | November 13, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
His manager, agent, and close friends begged him to retract his statement.
Editor Mark Whitaker stood by the article, but had to retract the detail about the Quran.
I do not retract my word, Malcolm; but I am bound, by an early promise to my father, never to enter the doors of a gaming-house.The Fortunes of Nigel | Sir Walter Scott
Then something that he had heard came back to him, and brought a sudden frown to his face, but it was too late to retract.
Some time afterward, turning an expressive look, he said again, "I retract that expression."
This tragedy is bad, and I do not retract a single word of what I have said about it; but the actress is admirable.Queens of the French Stage | H. Noel Williams
By such means it was not difficult to extort admissions which the prisoner was likely to retract at a subsequent time.History of the Rise of the Huguenots | Henry Baird
British Dictionary definitions for retract
(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
- retractable or retractible, adjective
- retractability or retractibility, noun
- retractation (ˌriːtrækˈteɪʃən), noun
- retractive, adjective
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