de·tract | \di-ˈtrakt, dē-\

Definition of detract 

transitive verb

1 archaic : to speak ill of

2 archaic : to take away

3 : divert didn't mean to detract attention from the guest of honor

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

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Other Words from detract

detractor \-ˈtrak-tər \ 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

Also detracting from the kvetchy autobiography is Stern's voice as a writer. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "'Little Panic': How the Etan Patz kidnapping terrorized author Amanda Stern," 10 July 2018 At the time the rule was put into place, the NBA was viewed as an uncivilized place, with skirmishes detracting from what has since moved to a more free-flowing, aesthetically pleasing game. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Has NBA common sense arrived too late for Heat?," 3 June 2018 Bauer, 27, was coming off a victorious outing against the Chicago Cubs but a strange message on the pitcher’s mound seemed to detract from his stellar pitching. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer denies writing Bush did 9/11 on mound," 23 May 2018 The major issue to resolve is whether or not his presence will help Oladipo or detract from him. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: 5 reasonable free-agent targets for Pacers as roster will begin to take shape," 29 June 2018 It was acknowledged as a 'slightly younger' Arsenal side, but that won't detract from the occasion., "Spurs Humiliate Local Rivals Arsenal in 9-0 Annihilation in Under-18 Premier League Clash," 24 Apr. 2018 Some people try to avoid the thought of their death, but the avoidance only detracts from their quality of life. Loren A. Yadon, idahostatesman, "Leaving the ‘stage of life’ to the applause of heaven," 12 July 2018 Ingredients in fake meat often require traditional industrial inputs such as water, chemicals and fossil fuels, which may detract from the overall environmental benefit. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "Fake Meat? Environmental Group Worries It May Be Too Early," 27 June 2018 Ingredients in fake meat often require traditional industrial inputs such as water, chemicals and fossil fuels, which may detract from the overall environmental benefit. Deena Shanker,, "Is It Too Early for Fake Meat?," 27 June 2018

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 1

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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Phrases Related to detract

detract from

Statistics for detract

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for detract

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

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More Definitions for detract


de·tract | \di-ˈtrakt \
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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Comments on detract

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