pro·​tract | \ prō-ˈtrakt How to pronounce protract (audio) , prə-\
protracted; protracting; protracts

Definition of protract

transitive verb

1 : to prolong in time or space : continue
2 : to extend forward or outward — compare retract sense 1
3 archaic : delay, defer

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Other Words from protract

protractive \ prō-​ˈtrak-​tiv How to pronounce protractive (audio) , prə-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for protract

extend, lengthen, prolong, protract mean to draw out or add to so as to increase in length. extend and lengthen imply a drawing out in space or time but extend may also imply increase in width, scope, area, or range. extend a vacation extend welfare services lengthen a skirt lengthen the workweek prolong suggests chiefly increase in duration especially beyond usual limits. prolonged illness protract adds to prolong implications of needlessness, vexation, or indefiniteness. protracted litigation

Examples of protract in a Sentence

the highway project was protracted by years of litigation
Recent Examples on the Web In his speech, Johnson delivered what amounted to a breezy dismissal of May’s protracted and ultimately unsuccessful efforts to win lawmakers’ approval for a divorce agreement with the EU. Christina Boyle, Los Angeles Times, "Britain’s new prime minister sees ‘no-deal’ Brexit as possibility. What would that mean?," 24 July 2019 Back in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, the government’s death was protracted and dramatic. The Economist, "India’s ruling party keeps on winning seats, even after the elections," 25 July 2019 The process to restructure its debts is expected to be protracted, involving state and federal regulators, with wide-ranging... Russell Gold, WSJ, "PG&E Files for Bankruptcy Following California Wildfires," 29 Jan. 2019 This will be bloody, long and protracted, something the coalition does not want. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Houthis explain 'Death to America' slogan, reveal what will bring them to peace talks," 6 Aug. 2018 In conclusion, Taylor is continuing to intensely reject the surprise album drop era ushered in by Beyoncé, instead preferring to protract what is probably an album rollout until her typical release months of October/November. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift's Cryptic Social Media Clues Have Reached a Breaking Point," 23 Apr. 2019 Perhaps as a result, investigations can be at once protracted and perfunctory. Sarah Scoles, Outside Online, "The Harassment Problem in Scientific Dream Jobs," 21 May 2018 Then there’s more small talk and finally a protracted goodbye. David Pierce, WSJ, "Phone Calls Are Dead. Voice Chat Is the Future.," 8 July 2018 Among other things, the suit stated that Match had made a $450 million offer for the company last year that Bumble rebuffed, sparking a protracted back-and-forth over Bumble’s valuation. Leigh Gallagher, Fortune, "Match Is the Sweetheart of Online Dating—But Can It Fend Off Facebook and Bumble?," 27 June 2018

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

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for protract

Latin protractus, past participle of protrahere, literally, to draw forward, from pro- forward + trahere to draw — more at pro-

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Statistics for protract

Time Traveler for protract

The first known use of protract was in 1540

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More Definitions for protract


pro·​tract | \ prō-ˈtrakt How to pronounce protract (audio) \
protracted; protracting

Kids Definition of protract

: to make longer : draw out in time or space Disagreements protracted the negotiation.
pro·​tract | \ prō-ˈtrakt How to pronounce protract (audio) \

Medical Definition of protract

: to extend forward or outward the mandible is protracted and retracted in chewing — compare retract

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Comments on protract

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concealed or difficult to comprehend

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