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 retractable (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

Here's a list of commitments by North Korea, and some by the U.S., that were made, retracted and revived: 1985: North Korea signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), pledging not to obtain nuclear weapons. Oren Dorell, USA TODAY, "North Korea's threat to cancel Trump-Kim summit is just the latest of broken promises," 16 May 2018 The senators announced a budget request Tuesday for $2.5 million for new digital speed signs on both approaches to the bridge, but a spokesman quickly retracted the news release. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "Car-tab fees, new transportation package on Washington state lawmakers’ agenda," 28 Jan. 2019 Researchers from the University of Zurich developed a drone with four arms that can retract while flying to fit into gaps and holes. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "A shape-shifting drone suggests the future of rescue missions," 20 Dec. 2018 Engage your upper back muscles and retract your shoulder blades. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Take Your Kettlebell Squats to the Next Level With This Small Tweak From Blake Lively’s Trainer," 6 Sep. 2018 Privacy - Terms Police initially said the woman had been run over but later retracted those details as inaccurate. Aaron Randle, kansascity, "Woman killed while working with wood chipper in Belton, police say," 9 July 2018 Aso retracted his comment when asked about it during a parliamentary session on Monday. Mari Yamaguchi, The Seattle Times, "Japan finance minister Aso sorry for criticizing childless," 5 Feb. 2019 Police at first pinned the initial shooting on Bradford but have fully retracted the claim — saying the actual shooter remains at large. German Lopez, Vox, "After a mall shooting, police killed the wrong person — and the real shooter remains at large," 26 Nov. 2018 After the device injects, the needle retracts back inside. Tessie Castillo, SELF, "Here’s How to Use the Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug Naloxone," 26 July 2018

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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Statistics for retract

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for retract

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on retract

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with retract

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retract

Spanish Central: Translation of retract

Nglish: Translation of retract for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of retract for Arabic Speakers

Comments on retract

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