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 The authorities, in other words, wanted to expedite the spreading of calumnies one day, only to slow down the diffusion of their retraction the next day. Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2021 A couple of hundred medical professionals have signed an online petition calling for retraction of the video and the news coverage that focused on it, including the Union-Tribune’s original story from last week. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Aug. 2021 The offices of Fischer, Lightfoot and Wheeler did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News regarding the apparent retraction of sponsor names from the resolution on the Conference of Mayor's website. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 9 Sep. 2021 Vaccination mandates will likely stay in place beyond the retraction of masking rules, Rutherford predicted. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Sep. 2021 An example is hydraulic systems, which powers the flight controls, retraction and extension of the landing gear, and the moveable panels on the front and back of the wing (slats and flaps). John Cox, USA TODAY, 15 May 2021 Moreau’s efforts have already led to the retraction of two papers by Chinese authors in Springer Nature’s International Journal of Legal Medicine. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, 10 Aug. 2021 Fowler and other medical examiners called for a retraction, but the journal declined. New York Times, 8 July 2021 On 25 June, the day after the paper’s publication, Lareb’s head of science and research, Eugène van Puijenbroek, sent an email to Vaccines’s editors, criticizing the paper and requesting a correction or retraction. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, 1 July 2021

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

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Retraction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for retraction



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 tumor Journal 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

More from Merriam-Webster on retraction

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retraction

Britannica English: Translation of retraction for Arabic Speakers


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