verb de·tract \di-ˈtrakt, dē-\

Definition of DETRACT

transitive verb
archaic :  to speak ill of
archaic :  to take away
:  divert <detract attention>
intransitive verb
:  to diminish the importance, value, or effectiveness of something —often used with from <small errors that do not seriously detract from the book>
de·trac·tor \-ˈtrak-tər\ noun

Examples of DETRACT

  1. <numerous typos in the text detract the reader's attention from the novel's intricate plot>

Origin of DETRACT

Middle English, from Latin detractus, past participle of detrahere to pull down, disparage, from de- + trahere to draw
First Known Use: 15th century

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