re·​trac·​tion | \ ri-ˈtrak-shən How to pronounce retraction (audio) \

Definition of retraction

1 : an act of recanting specifically : a statement made by one retracting
2 : an act of retracting : the state of being retracted
3 : the ability to retract

Examples of retraction in a Sentence

His charges were false, and he was forced to make a retraction. the retraction of the plane's landing gear
Recent Examples on the Web Soon after, Montgomery police commissioner L.B. Sullivan demanded a retraction and sued the Times, alleging libel. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Ray Jenkins, prizewinning journalist with ‘ringside seat’ to history, dies at 89," 29 Oct. 2019 The commission expects that further retractions will be made in coming months. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, "Putin wanted Russian science to top the world. Then a huge academic scandal blew up.," 17 Jan. 2020 The road to this retraction shows both what is good and what is bad about the way the modern scientific method works. The Economist, "A tale of mistake and retraction shows that science works—eventually," 2 Nov. 2019 Defense lawyers also contend that the woman’s retraction was made under duress. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cyprus trial of Brit accused of making up rape claim starts," 2 Oct. 2019 The Sports Illustrated writer asked for a retraction of that statement; Luhnow wouldn’t give it. Dennis Young,, "Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman hasn’t watched the World Series because of the Astros’ lies," 27 Oct. 2019 One wonders how many Fox viewers saw the retraction. Wired, "Trump's Ukraine Server Delusion Is Spreading," 26 Nov. 2019 Parents should also seek medical attention if their child is breathing much more rapidly than usual or has signs of retraction, when the area between the ribs and in the neck sinks in when a person attempts to inhale. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville hospitals seeing increase in dangerous respiratory virus in children," 22 Nov. 2019 Zervos is seeking a retraction, an apology and damages., "The records also show a call to Zervos from Trump’s phone the next afternoon and calls from her to his phone in the following months. Her lawyers say the phone calls support that she’s telling the truth.," 6 Nov. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of retraction was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Retraction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce retraction (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of retraction

: a statement saying that something you said or wrote at an earlier time is not true or correct
: the act of moving something back into a larger part that usually covers it : the act of retracting something


re·​trac·​tion | \ ri-ˈtrak-shən How to pronounce retraction (audio) \

Medical Definition of retraction

: an act or instance of retracting specifically : backward or inward movement of an organ or part retraction of the nipple or skin overlying the tumorJournal of the American Medical Association


re·​trac·​tion | \ ri-ˈtrak-shən How to pronounce retraction (audio) \

Legal Definition of retraction

: an act of taking back or withdrawing retraction of a confession her retraction of the defamatory statement

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with retraction

Spanish Central: Translation of retraction

Britannica English: Translation of retraction for Arabic Speakers

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