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

The 12 fully reclining seats are on platforms that can retract into the wall to create a more open, social space. Stefanos Chen, The Seattle Times, "Real estate technology that could have a lasting effect on housing," 20 Nov. 2018 The 4,000-ton chassis retracts telescopically on six-foot-tall wheels to transform the space into an open plaza. Chloe Malle, Town & Country, "Is the Shed the Defining Arts Institution of a New New York City?," 14 Mar. 2019 According to NBC News, the budget also includes a 26% reduction in state special education grants and millions of dollars retracted from services for blind students. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Betsy DeVos Defended a Budget That Guts Federal Funding for the Special Olympics," 27 Mar. 2019 Earlier on Monday, USA Today prematurely tweeted that Moonves was suspended before quickly retracting the report. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "CBS won't take immediate action on Les Moonves sexual harassment accusations after board meeting," 31 July 2018 This detail has since been reported by sources at People as false, with TMZ also retracting its earlier claims. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Demi Lovato's Team Releases an Official Statement About Her Overdose," 25 July 2018 Crumes committed to and then retracted his commitment from Louisville. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville makes local a priority in 2019 football recruiting class," 15 June 2018 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

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

13 May 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

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