traction

noun

trac·​tion ˈtrak-shən How to pronounce traction (audio)
1
a
: the adhesive friction of a body on a surface on which it moves
the traction of a wheel on a rail
b
: a pulling force exerted on a skeletal structure (as in a fracture) by means of a special device
a traction splint
also : a state of tension created by such a pulling force
a leg in traction
2
: the act of drawing : the state of being drawn
also : the force exerted in drawing
3
: the support or interest that is needed for something to make progress or succeed
a product that is starting to gain traction among consumers
… the litmus test issues of abortion and gay marriage have been losing traction, subordinated to the Iraq war and terrorism.Thomas B. Edsall
As many economists have noted, cutting spending is the worst thing people with means can do for the economy right now. But that argument seems to have little traction, especially because even those with steady paychecks and no fear of losing their job have seen their net worth decline and their retirement savings evaporate.Shaila Dewan
4
: the drawing of a vehicle by motive power
also : the motive power employed
tractional
ˈtrak-shnəl How to pronounce traction (audio)
-shə-nᵊl
adjective

Did you know?

A tractor is something that pulls something else. We usually use the word for a piece of farm machinery, but it's also the name of the part of a big truck that includes the engine and the cab. Tractors get terrific traction, because of their powerful engines and the deep ridges on their huge wheels. A cross-country skier needs traction to kick herself forward, but doesn't want it to slow her down when she's gliding, so the bottom of the skis may have a "fish-scale" surface that permits both of these at the same time.

Examples of traction in a Sentence

These tires get good traction on wet roads. A patch of ice caused the car to lose traction. She was in traction for three weeks after she broke her hip. The bill failed to gain traction in the Senate. We didn't get traction on this idea until the board took interest.
Recent Examples on the Web In the event of your vehicle hydroplaning, here’s what to know: • Ease off the accelerator — Step off the gas to slow down the vehicle until the tires find traction. Star-Telegram Bot, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 24 May 2024 Feline dining will be new to Sacramento, but the concept has been gaining traction across the United States and the world over the past several years. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 22 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for traction 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'traction.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Medieval Latin traction-, tractio, from Latin trahere

First Known Use

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of traction was in 1608

Dictionary Entries Near traction

Cite this Entry

“Traction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/traction. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

traction

noun
trac·​tion ˈtrak-shən How to pronounce traction (audio)
1
: the act of drawing : the state of being drawn
2
: the adhesive friction of a body on a surface on which it moves (as of a wheel on a rail)
3
: a pulling force applied to a skeletal structure (as a broken bone) by using a special device
a traction splint
also : a state of tension created by such a pulling force
a leg in traction

Medical Definition

traction

noun
trac·​tion ˈtrak-shən How to pronounce traction (audio)
1
: the pulling of or tension established in one body part by another
2
: a pulling force exerted on a skeletal structure (as in a fracture) by means of a special device or apparatus
a traction splint
also : a state of tension created by such a pulling force
a leg in traction

More from Merriam-Webster on traction

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