retract

verb
re·​tract | \ ri-ˈtrakt How to pronounce retract (audio) \
retracted; retracting; retracts

Definition of retract

transitive verb

1 : to draw back or in cats retract their claws
2a : take back, withdraw retract a confession
b : disavow

intransitive verb

1 : to draw or pull back
2 : to recant or disavow something

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Other Words from retract

retractable \ ri-​ˈtrak-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce retract (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for retract

abjure, renounce, forswear, recant, retract mean to withdraw one's word or professed belief. abjure implies a firm and final rejecting or abandoning often made under oath. abjured the errors of his former faith renounce may carry the meaning of disclaim or disown. renounced abstract art and turned to portrait painting forswear may add an implication of perjury or betrayal. I cannot forswear my principles recant stresses the withdrawing or denying of something professed or taught. if they recant they will be spared retract applies to the withdrawing of a promise, an offer, or an accusation. the newspaper had to retract the story

recede, retreat, retract, back mean to move backward. recede implies a gradual withdrawing from a forward or high fixed point in time or space. the flood waters gradually receded retreat implies withdrawal from a point or position reached. retreating soldiers retract implies drawing back from an extended position. a cat retracting its claws back is used with up, down, out, or off to refer to any retrograde motion. backed off on the throttle

Examples of retract in a Sentence

A cat can retract its claws. The pilot retracted the plane's landing gear. The plane's landing gear failed to retract. Their college grants were retracted. They retracted the job offer.
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Recent Examples on the Web Ellison's prosecutors — Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank and Special Attorney for the state Neal Katyal — have asked Cahill two times in three months to retract his rulings on key issues. Chao Xiong, Star Tribune, "Judge rejects prosecution's request to hold one trial in George Floyd's death," 21 Jan. 2021 And the parent company of Dominion Voting Systems, which has already sued pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation, has demanded that Lindell retract his accusations that its voting machines played a role in Trump's loss. Steve Karnowski, ajc, "MyPillow Guy among the Trump acolytes picking up the torch," 23 Jan. 2021 And the parent company of Dominion Voting Systems, which has already sued pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation, has demanded that Lindell retract his accusations that its voting machines played a role in Trump's loss. Steve Karnowski, Star Tribune, "MyPillow Guy among the Trump acolytes picking up the torch," 23 Jan. 2021 Dominion has also demanded Trump campaign-adjacent lawyer Sidney Powell retract her claims alleging the company affected the results of the 2020 presidential election. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Newsmax airs election fact-check amid threat of lawsuit," 21 Dec. 2020 One of the most gruesome incidents involving the Model S was the case of driver Omar Awan, who was trapped in a burning car in South Florida in 2019 after the car’s electronic door handles failed to retract following a fiery crash, his family said. Dallas News, "A Tesla Model S erupts in flames in Frisco, sparking new concerns about safety of older electric batteries," 28 Dec. 2020 After that issue was corrected, engineers ran into problems with the system used to retract gantry access arms from the rocket during launch, then again with bad weather and more pad problems. William Harwood, CBS News, "After string of delays, Delta 4 rocket launches classified spy satellite," 10 Dec. 2020 Tragedies like the pandemic cause people to either retract or push forward. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Looking back: What San Diego’s arts community had to say about 2020," 27 Dec. 2020 The board did not retract a $2.1 million severance package. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "Golden Gate Transit workers spared from layoffs for now in anticipation of coronavirus relief funds," 23 Dec. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for retract

Middle English, from Latin retractus, past participle of retrahere — more at retreat

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Time Traveler for retract

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for retract

Last Updated

16 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Retract.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retract. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for retract

retract

verb

English Language Learners Definition of retract

: to pull (something) back into something larger that usually covers it
: to say that something you said or wrote is not true or correct
formal : to take back (something, such as an offer or promise)

retract

verb
re·​tract | \ ri-ˈtrakt How to pronounce retract (audio) \
retracted; retracting

Kids Definition of retract

1 : to pull back or in A cat can retract its claws.
2 : to take back (as an offer or statement) : withdraw

retract

transitive verb
re·​tract | \ ri-ˈtrakt How to pronounce retract (audio) \

Medical Definition of retract

: to draw back or in retract the lower jaw — compare protract

intransitive verb

: to draw something (as tissue) back or in also : to use a retractor

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Comments on retract

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