[with-draw, with-]
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verb (used with object), with·drew, with·drawn, with·draw·ing.
  1. to draw back, away, or aside; take back; remove: She withdrew her hand from his. He withdrew his savings from the bank.
  2. to retract or recall: to withdraw an untrue charge.
  3. to cause (a person) to undergo withdrawal from addiction to a substance.
verb (used without object), with·drew, with·drawn, with·draw·ing.
  1. to go or move back, away, or aside; retire; retreat: to withdraw from the room.
  2. to remove oneself from some activity, competition, etc.: He withdrew before I could nominate him.
  3. to cease using or consuming an addictive narcotic (followed by from): to withdraw from heroin.
  4. Parliamentary Procedure. to remove an amendment, motion, etc., from consideration.

Origin of withdraw

First recorded in 1175–1225, withdraw is from the Middle English word withdrawen. See with-, draw
Related formswith·draw·a·ble, adjectivewith·draw·er, nounwith·draw·ing·ness, nounnon·with·draw·a·ble, adjectiveun·with·draw·a·ble, adjectiveun·with·draw·ing, adjective

Synonyms for withdraw

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Synonym study

4. See depart.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for withdraw

Contemporary Examples of withdraw

Historical Examples of withdraw

  • But if this goes on, it is the gentlemen who ought to withdraw.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Here is her father; withdraw a little, and let me tell him who you are.

  • Send an army into Attica, and compel the Athenians to withdraw their forces from Potidaea.

  • Boabdil motioned to the Moor to withdraw, and an alfaqui advanced in his stead.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • The grey-haired gentleman had roused himself, and was preparing to withdraw.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for withdraw


verb -draws, -drawing, -drew or -drawn
  1. (tr) to take or draw back or away; remove
  2. (tr) to remove from deposit or investment in a bank, building society, etc
  3. (tr) to retract or recall (a statement, promise, etc)
  4. (intr) to retire or retreatthe troops withdrew
  5. (intr often foll by from) to back out (of) or depart (from)he withdrew from public life
  6. (intr) to detach oneself socially, emotionally, or mentally
Derived Formswithdrawable, adjectivewithdrawer, noun

Word Origin for withdraw

C13: from with (in the sense: away from) + draw
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 withdraw

early 13c., "to take back," from with "away" + drawen "to draw," possibly a loan-translation of Latin retrahere "to retract." Sense of "to remove oneself" is recorded from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper