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

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 Auditor Josh Gallion issued the audit report Monday but retracted it late Tuesday. USA TODAY, "Pumpkin boat, foie gras ban, library raccoons: News from around our 50 states," 31 Oct. 2019 In these cases, the only option is to retract the paper. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Two papers that we’ve covered have been retracted—here’s why," 17 Oct. 2019 In Indonesia, however, felling rates retracted 30% last year – led by good weather but, also, good policy. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Is The Tech Sector Going On Climate Strike? — The Loop," 17 Sep. 2019 The person retracts as he is told posting objectionable material is not okay on these groups. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A year on, #MeToo has lost momentum in India but we must keep the conversation going," 4 Sep. 2019 Nearly three months after her initial reimbursement email, Pace sent a follow-up to the CHA seeking to retract the $20,000 reimbursement request. Joe Mahr, chicagotribune.com, "‘A red flag’: Developers sought reimbursement for $20,000 in donations to Chicago alderman," 10 July 2019 On July 2nd he is said to have retracted his confession. The Economist, "German soul-searching after the murder of a champion of refugees," 5 July 2019 The 24hr deadline given to retract your recent false statements about me has now passed. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Asia Argento to Rose McGowan: You will be hearing from my lawyers," 18 Sep. 2018 UConn made the decision to retract its honorary degree in 2016. Ruth Bruno, courant.com, "Wesleyan University Revokes Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree," 25 May 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

11 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce retract (audio)

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
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retract

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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