[ri-trak-shuh n]


the act of retracting or the state of being retracted.
withdrawal of a promise, statement, opinion, etc.: His retraction of the libel came too late.
retractile power.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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



the act of retracting or state of being retracted
the withdrawal of a statement, charge, etc
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

retraction in Medicine




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