Simple Definition of retract
: 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)
Examples of retract
A cat can retract its claws.
The pilot retracted the plane's landing gear.
The plane's landing gear failed to retract.
Their college grants were retracted.
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
Synonym Discussion of retract
recede, retreat, retract, back mean to move backward. recede implies a gradual withdrawing from a forward or high fixed point in time or space <the flood waters gradually receded>. retreat implies withdrawal from a point or position reached <retreating soldiers>. retract implies drawing back from an extended position <a cat retracting its claws>. back is used with up, down, out, or off to refer to any retrograde motion <backed off on the throttle>.
Rhymes with retract
abstract, attract, class act, compact, contact, contract, crookbacked, detract, didact, diffract, distract, enact, entr'acte, epact, exact, extract, humpbacked, hunchbacked, impact, infract, intact, mossbacked, playact, protract, react, redact, refract, sex act, subtract, swaybacked, transact, unbacked
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