detract

verb
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 from small 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Freedenthal added that Eels' and Wilson's deaths shouldn't detract from suicide prevention. Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, "Suicides of two mental health advocates in a week serve as a grim reminder," 11 Sep. 2019 But Israel has also been accused of portraying itself as a bastion of progressive values to detract attention from its 52-year occupation of the West Bank and the right-wing government’s policies toward Palestinians. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Palestinian Authority Bans Activities by Gay Rights Group," 19 Aug. 2019 There are no awkwardly bent-over trees or ugly telephone wires to detract from the pure shape and color of the canyon. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "Everyone wants to Instagram the world’s most beautiful canyon. Should they?," 11 July 2019 But one day, every four years, for the women to be the center of soccer’s world with nothing to detract or distract from them. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: C'mon, FIFA. Let the women have their day with World Cup final," 6 July 2019 But the idea that anyone is actually tracking South Sudan’s compliance with its commitment to keep all of 3,000 barrels a day offline tends to detract from the vaunted seriousness of the operation. Washington Post, "The Big Minus at the Heart of OPEC-Plus," 2 July 2019 Dixon, for one, uses them to detract attention from spaces that aren't design-important. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "What's a Jib Door, Anyway?," 27 May 2019 Peaceful protest is a bedrock of our society and Rapinoe is doing nothing that detracts from her teammates or anyone else. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Criticism of what Megan Rapinoe does during national anthem is tired," 24 June 2019 Moser have a simple design that doesn’t detract from the table. Stacey Altherr, WSJ, "A Dining Room With a Globalist Sensibility," 19 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about detract

Statistics for detract

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detract

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for detract

detract

verb
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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on detract

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with detract

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for detract

Spanish Central: Translation of detract

Nglish: Translation of detract for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of detract for Arabic Speakers

Comments on detract

What made you want to look up detract? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!