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

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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

For those of us who are trying to eat healthier, seeing the artery-clogging junk fare during commercial breaks detracts from the game — and sometimes, even more regrettably, tempts the eyes. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, "Calling personal foul on the food ads this football season and changing the game," 10 Sep. 2019 But these welcome moments of levity never detract from the fundamental seriousness of the subject matter. Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Overseas': Film Review | Locarno 2019," 22 Aug. 2019 But overreliance on algorithms could detract from efforts to understand the drivers of suicide risk through intensive patient interviews. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Suicide attempts are hard to anticipate. A study that tracks teens’ cellphone use aims to change that," 21 Aug. 2019 Only one thing could detract from all this: If Pacquiao decides this isn’t the end. Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Manny Pacquiao’s victory would be the ultimate farewell to a storied career," 21 July 2019 Still, that shouldn't detract from the fact that the first half of his career in management was remarkable., "Giovanni Trapattoni: A Career of 2 Halves That Defined the Golden Era of Calcio at Juventus," 12 Aug. 2019 But all the objections are hard to take seriously, because all this performative drama detracts for the real budget problem no one will address: entitlements. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "Critics of the congressional budget deal are ignoring the really big deal," 24 July 2019 The efficiency improvements don't detract from the Model S experience. David Williams For Cnn, CNN, "950 miles in two days. Taking an electric road trip in a Tesla," 25 July 2019 Whatever the primary reason, the timing of Sanders' retirement shouldn't detract from his legacy. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "18-game NFL season would be a disaster; keep an eye on holdouts," 17 July 2019

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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Statistics for detract

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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