de·​tract | \ di-ˈtrakt How to pronounce detract (audio) , dē- \
detracted; detracting; detracts

Definition of detract

intransitive verb

: to diminish the importance, value, or effectiveness of something often used with fromsmall errors that do not seriously detract from the book

transitive verb

1 : divert didn't mean to detract attention from the guest of honor
2 archaic : to speak ill of
3 archaic : to take away

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Other Words from detract

detractor \ di-​ˈtrak-​tər How to pronounce detractor (audio) , dē-​ \ noun

Examples of detract in a Sentence

numerous typos in the text detract the reader's attention from the novel's intricate plot
Recent Examples on the Web The attention given to the Smith work — the only acquisition Feldman mentioned at a March congressional budget hearing — does not detract from other recent additions. Peggy Mcglone, Washington Post, "Kaywin Feldman wants the National Gallery to be relevant to everyone. But first they have to come back.," 23 June 2020 Though not to detract from the luxe looks of the new BT-50, the greatest change comes in the form of its underpinnings. Maxwell B. Mortimer, Car and Driver, "Third-Gen Mazda BT-50 Pickup Has Mazda Good Looks on New Isuzu Platform," 20 June 2020 Hulu shifted two premiere dates, as to not detract from Juneteenth, a June 19 holiday recognizing the end of slavery. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "5 meaningful Father's Day ideas amid Black Lives Matter, Pride Month and the COVID-19 pandemic," 18 June 2020 Some worry that the spectacle could detract from the message of Black Lives Matter. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Protesters have occupied part of Seattle's Capitol Hill for a week. Here's what it's like inside," 15 June 2020 This list isn’t meant to detract from the good work being done at the breweries that didn’t make it. Matt Koesters,, "These are the top 5 breweries in Greater Cincinnati right now," 11 June 2020 Much of that work will seriously detract from the traditional worship experience. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Paging Dr. Hamblin: Can We Sing?," 10 June 2020 This treatment, however, does not detract from the sweet and smooth flavor of the coffee. Popular Science, "Great tasting K-cups for your morning cup of coffee," 10 June 2020 This does not detract from the sordid disgrace of this particular scandal. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Stock Market Is an Engine of Civic Destruction," 4 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detract.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of detract

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for detract

Middle English, from Latin detractus, past participle of detrahere to pull down, disparage, from de- + trahere to draw

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Time Traveler for detract

Time Traveler

The first known use of detract was in the 15th century

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Statistics for detract

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Detract.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for detract


de·​tract | \ di-ˈtrakt How to pronounce detract (audio) \
detracted; detracting

Kids Definition of detract

: to take away (as from value or importance) Signs detract from the beauty of the scenery.

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More from Merriam-Webster on detract

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for detract

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with detract

Spanish Central: Translation of detract

Nglish: Translation of detract for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of detract for Arabic Speakers

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