- When you made a statement and then realized you spoke in error and take back what you said, this is an example of a situation where you retract your statement.
- When you pull your hand back because it touches a hot flame, this is an example of a situation where you retract your hand.
- to draw back or in: to retract claws
- to withdraw or disavow (a statement, promise, offer, charge, etc.); recant
Origin of retractMiddle English retracten: in retractsense from Classical Latin retractus, past participle of retrahere, to draw back from re-, back + trahere, to draw; in retractsense from Middle French retracter from Classical Latin retractare, to draw back, withdraw from re-, back + tractare, to pull, draw, frequentative of trahere
verbre·tract·ed, re·tract·ing, re·tracts
- To take back; disavow: refused to retract the statement.
- To draw back or in: a plane retracting its landing gear.
- Linguistics a. To utter (a sound) with the tongue drawn back.b. To draw back (the tongue).
- To take something back or disavow it.
- To draw back: a leash that retracts into a plastic case. See Synonyms at recede1.
Origin of retractLatin retractāre to revoke frequentative of retrahere to draw back re- re- trahere to draw V., tr., senses 2 and 3, and v., intr., sense 2, Middle English retracten from Old French retracter from Latin retractus past participle of retrahere
- re·tract′a·bil′i·ty re·tract′i·bil′i·ty
- re·tract′a·ble re·tract′i·ble
(third-person singular simple present retracts, present participle retracting, simple past and past participle retracted)
- To pull back inside.
- An airplane retracts its wheels for flight.
- (intransitive) To draw back; to draw up.
- Muscles retract after amputation.
- A cat can retract its claws.
- To take back or withdraw something one has said.
- I retract all the accusations I made about the senator and sincerely hope he won't sue me.
- To take back, as a grant or favour previously bestowed; to revoke.
From Latin retractum, past participle of retrahere.