verb \ri-ˈtrakt\

: to pull (something) back into something larger that usually covers it

: to say that something you said or wrote is not true or correct

: to take back (something, such as an offer or promise)

Full Definition of RETRACT

transitive verb
:  to draw back or in <cats retract their claws>
a :  take back, withdraw <retract a confession>
b :  disavow
intransitive verb
:  to draw or pull back
:  to recant or disavow something
re·tract·able \-ˈtrak-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of RETRACT

  1. A cat can retract its claws.
  2. The pilot retracted the plane's landing gear.
  3. The plane's landing gear failed to retract.
  4. Their college grants were retracted.
  5. They retracted the job offer.

Origin of RETRACT

Middle English, from Latin retractus, past participle of retrahere — more at retreat
First Known Use: 15th century


transitive verb \ri-ˈtrakt\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of RETRACT

: to draw back or in <retract the lower jaw>—compare protract
intransitive verb
: to draw something (as tissue) back or in; also : to use a retractor


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