re·​trac·​tor | \ ri-ˈtrak-tər How to pronounce retractor (audio) \

Definition of retractor

: one that retracts: such as
a : a surgical instrument for holding open the edges of a wound
b : a muscle that draws in an organ or part

Examples of retractor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Key differences During conventional knee replacement surgery, the knee is in a position of hyperflexion with retractors pulling the kneecap. Orthocincy,, "Stem cell injections or knee replacement," 4 June 2018 One surgery was canceled after the patient was already under anesthesia because a retractor was unavailable — it had not been sterilized since its last use a week earlier. Donovan Slack, USA TODAY, "6 eye-popping findings from an investigation of the Washington D.C. VA medical center," 7 Mar. 2018 La Grange Hospital donated extra supplies, including retractors and surgical stapling devices. Kimberly Fornek,, "Brookfield Zoo orangutan recovering after appendectomy by La Grange Hospital surgeons," 16 Feb. 2018 The Hidden Scar™ surgery involves making a small incision in an inconspicuous area (such as under the arm or in the crease of the breast), then using special instruments with lighted retractors that allow the surgeon to better see the breast tissue., "New breast cancer surgery erases visible scars," 28 Sep. 2017 Check for fading of the interior or door panels as well, the bureau says, and also look for rusted screws in the console or other areas where water would not normally accumulate, and see if there is mildew or grime in the seatbelt retractors. David Muller, Car and Driver, "Scammers Take Advantage after Cars Get Flooded in Texas Hurricane," 1 Sep. 2017 Wiley, who performed the surgery, fashioned small retractors from various components to keep Ana's eyes open during the procedure. Jennifer Conn, Akron Reporter,, "1.5-pound Akron Zoo tamarin has successful cataract surgery," 14 June 2017

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

1615, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for retractor

The first known use of retractor was in 1615

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More Definitions for retractor


re·​trac·​tor | \ ri-ˈtrak-tər How to pronounce retractor (audio) \

Medical Definition of retractor

: one that retracts: as
a : any of various surgical instruments for holding tissues away from the field of operation
b : a muscle that draws in an organ or part — compare protractor

More from Merriam-Webster on retractor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with retractor

Britannica English: Translation of retractor for Arabic Speakers

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a strong desire or propensity

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