• synonyms


[ri-trak-shuh n]
See more synonyms for retraction on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of retracting or the state of being retracted.
  2. withdrawal of a promise, statement, opinion, etc.: His retraction of the libel came too late.
  3. retractile power.
Show More

Origin of retraction

1350–1400; Middle English retraccioun < Latin retractiōn- (stem of retractiō), equivalent to Latin retract(us) (see retract1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·re·trac·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for retraction

denial, annulment, reversal, repudiation, disclaimer, disavowal, revocation, about-face, withdrawal, abrogation, abjuration, contradiction, abnegation, recall, nullification, volte-face, rescission, abandonment, recantation

Examples from the Web for retraction

Contemporary Examples of retraction

Historical Examples of retraction

  • But I still bear the scar of a wound that would be the better for the balm of your retraction.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • There shall be no diminution of my love, no retraction of my promises.

  • Thus it was not owing to any retraction of his gift, or reconsideration of it, that he demurred.


    E. F. Benson

  • She was inclined to batter her into a retraction; it would have relieved her own feelings.

    Regiment of Women

    Clemence Dane

  • He often advanced by retreating, and asserted by retraction.

British Dictionary definitions for retraction


  1. the act of retracting or state of being retracted
  2. the withdrawal of a statement, charge, etc
Show More
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 retraction


late 14c., "withdrawal of an opinion," from Latin retractionem (nominative retractio) "a drawing back, hesitation, refusal," noun of action from past participle stem of retractare "revoke, cancel," from re- "back" (see re-) + tractere "draw violently," frequentative of trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)). Originally the title of a book by St. Augustine correcting his former writings. Meaning "recantation of opinion with admission of error" is from 1540s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

retraction in Medicine


  1. The act of drawing back or in; shrinking.
  2. The act of pulling apart, usually as part of a surgical procedure.
  3. The posterior movement of teeth, usually with the aid of an orthodontic appliance.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.