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

More than 10,000 people, including scholars and ordinary citizens, signed the petition, which was ultimately successful: The journal retracted the paper on May 2. Sarah Wild, Quartz Africa, "How long-discredited “race science” research got published from two South African universities," 29 July 2019 The brokerage app Robinhood announced a savings product last year that wasn’t vetted by regulators and had to be retracted. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Fintechs are competing to offer the highest interest rates for savings accounts," 23 July 2019 On Thursday, the Luzerne County's manager and child welfare agency director wrote the superintendent, demanding the district retract the letter. Fox News, "School district warns parents: Pay lunch bill or kids may go into foster care," 21 July 2019 The protesters are demanding Lam retracts the bill entirely. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "Hong Kong protesters take to Kowloon, in bid to appeal to mainland Chinese tourists," 7 July 2019 In May 2017, Fox News reported the fever dream as gospel, only to later retract the story when it was revealed to be a conspiracy. Shaan Amin, The New Republic, "Can the Left Win YouTube?," 2 July 2019 In 1997, just 44 journals reported retracting a paper. Julia Belluz, Vox, "A huge database of scientific retractions is live. That’s great for science.," 29 Oct. 2018 Then in February, DeSantis retracted 169 more Scott appointments, this time clawing back appointments Scott made as far back as March 2018, the end of the previous legislative session. Gray Rohrer, orlandosentinel.com, "Gov. Ron DeSantis kicked out 215 of Rick Scott’s appointments, but 157 didn’t go anywhere," 1 July 2019 Even Glamour magazine, which named Fairstein the Woman of the Year in 1993, retracted that honor. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Central Park Five Prosecutor Linda Fairstein Dropped By Her Publisher," 8 June 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

5 Aug 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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