draw·​back | \ ˈdrȯ-ˌbak How to pronounce drawback (audio) \

Definition of drawback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a refund of duties especially on an imported product subsequently exported or used to produce a product for export
2 : an objectionable feature : disadvantage The plan's only drawback is its cost.

draw back

\ drȯ-ˈbak How to pronounce draw back (audio) \
drew back; drawn back; drawing back; draws back

Definition of draw back (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to avoid an issue or commitment

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Synonyms & Antonyms for drawback

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of drawback in a Sentence

Noun The trip sounds great, but cost is a major drawback. this plan has only one drawback: it's unworkable
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Billionaires like Elon Musk and Bill Gates have made substantial investments in carbon capture experiments like this, but the high cost remains the biggest drawback. NBC News, "The toll of the Chauvin trial, voting rights fight hits the airwaves and NASA launches Mars chopper," 19 Apr. 2021 California’s coronavirus vaccine supply will drop over the next two weeks — an unexpected drawback days before eligibility expands to anyone 16 and up. Jonathan Wosen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "California’s coronavirus vaccine supply will dip just as eligibility spikes," 9 Apr. 2021 The only noticeable drawback: The combination of that energy and plot propulsion at times leaves the quadrangle of young lovers shouting at each other in stretches that could use more vocal variety. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando Shakes’ ‘Midsummer’ is a beautiful, energized dream | Review," 3 Apr. 2021 His resume explains everything: A 100 mph fastball, a nasty wipeout slider and — the drawback, like so many Tigers closers before him — too many inconsistencies. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "How Detroit Tigers flamethrower Gregory Soto is chasing closer role with 'elite stuff'," 1 Apr. 2021 Some say that this tit-for-tat escalation, fueling higher costs and greater uncertainty, is the single greatest drawback of tariffs. Nicholas Phillips, National Review, "End the Tariff Taboo," 25 Jan. 2021 One drawback of the show is that 10 pictures were trimmed from the original presentation. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The glorious mysteries of Agnes Pelton’s desert paintings, on view in Palm Springs," 14 Apr. 2021 The only drawback is the return of a moderate breeze, gusting from the northwest around 25 mph during the afternoon. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Spring returns with a solid stretch of seasonable warmth," 4 Apr. 2021 The only drawback was that people tended to come toward the end of the game. courant.com, "From Vin Baker to Joe Zeglinski, former Hawks will be cheering on the Hartford men’s basketball team in the NCAA Tournament," 18 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'drawback.' 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 drawback


1697, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for drawback

Time Traveler

The first known use of drawback was in the 14th century

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Statistics for drawback

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Drawback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drawback. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for drawback



English Language Learners Definition of drawback

: something that causes problems


draw·​back | \ ˈdrȯ-ˌbak How to pronounce drawback (audio) \

Kids Definition of drawback

: an unwanted feature or characteristic My only drawback is that I look something like a mouse.— E. B. White, Stuart Little

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Comments on drawback

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