with·draw·al | \ wit͟h-ˈdrȯ(-ə)l , with- \

Definition of withdrawal 

1a : the act of taking back or away something that has been granted or possessed

b : removal from a place of deposit or investment

c(1) : the discontinuance of administration or use of a drug

(2) : the syndrome of often painful physical and psychological symptoms that follows discontinuance of an addicting drug a heroin addict going through withdrawal

2a : retreat or retirement especially into a more secluded or less exposed place or position

b : an operation by which a military force disengages from the enemy

c(1) : social or emotional detachment

(2) : a pathological retreat from objective reality (as in some schizophrenic states)

3 : retraction, revocation threatened us with withdrawal of consent

4a : the act of drawing someone or something back from or out of a place or position

b : coitus interruptus

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Synonyms & Antonyms for withdrawal


pullback, pullout, recession, retirement, retreat


advance, advancement

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Examples of withdrawal in a Sentence

The general authorized the withdrawal of troops from the fields. She made a withdrawal from her checking account. He underwent rehab to help him through his withdrawal from heroin. She experienced symptoms of nicotine withdrawal after she quit smoking.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The meeting comes just over a year after President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Fox News, "Orthodox Christian leader rallies climate change campaign," 6 June 2018 Since President Donald Trump announced the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal on May 9, the Treasury Department has sought to isolate the country with more sanctions. Saleha Mohsin, Bloomberg.com, "U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Companies Aiding Iranian Airlines," 24 May 2018 In his internal email announcing Uber's withdrawal from Arizona, Uber executive Eric Meyhofer mentioned California—particularly San Francisco and Sacramento—as the other place where Uber hoped to resume testing. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Uber wants to test driverless cars in Pittsburgh again—the mayor is pissed," 24 May 2018 President Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal On Tuesday, the Trump administration officially announced America’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The week’s 4 biggest political stories, explained," 11 May 2018 Trump is certain to hail this week's foreign policy accomplishments, including announcing the US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal and the successful return of US prisoners from North Korea. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump to project party unity at Indiana rally," 10 May 2018 Tuesday afternoon President Trump announced withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, which will certainly require intensive engagement from the new secretary. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "Pompeo's dilemma: World and State both need immediate attention," 8 May 2018 But a 15-page statement put an end to his pledge, announcing the immediate withdrawal from the Rome Statute, which is the founding treaty of the ICC. Brendan Cole, Newsweek, "Philippines's President Duterte Can Still Be Tried in The Hague Even if His Country Leaves International Criminal Court, Rights Group Says," 14 Mar. 2018 The Miers reference is telling, since those trying to derail Kavanaugh hope to emulate the successful 2005 conservative campaign to force her withdrawal by Bush, leading to the deeply satisfying-to-conservatives substitution of Samuel Alito. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Kavanaugh Remains SCOTUS Front-runner Despite Right-Wing Backlash," 5 July 2018

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

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for withdrawal

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for withdrawal

The first known use of withdrawal was in 1749

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More Definitions for withdrawal



English Language Learners Definition of withdrawal

: an act of moving something away or taking something away

: an act of ending your involvement in something

: the act of taking money out of a bank account


with·draw·al | \ wit͟h-ˈdrȯ-əl , with- \

Kids Definition of withdrawal

: an act or instance of withdrawing


with·draw·al | \ -ˈdrȯ(ə-)l \

Medical Definition of withdrawal 

1a : a pathological retreat from objective reality (as in some schizophrenic states)

b : social or emotional detachment

2a : the discontinuance of administration or use of a drug

b : the syndrome of often painful physical and psychological symptoms that follows discontinuance of an addicting substance a heroin addict going through withdrawal

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Legal Definition of withdrawal 

1 : the act or fact of withdrawing withdrawal from a conspiracy

2 : removal of money from a place of deposit or investment

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Comments on withdrawal

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