Definition of detract in English:



  • 1 Diminish the worth or value of (a quality or achievement)

    ‘these quibbles in no way detract from her achievement’
    • ‘This is not to detract from his status as The World's Greatest Actor.’
    • ‘But that can't detract from a fine performance by Collins who dug in and fought to the end.’
    • ‘Choose a design that fits in with the style and scale of your home, otherwise you could detract from its value and end up living in a fortress.’
    • ‘All of these signs should be accommodated on one post and thus not detract from the beauty of the surroundings.’
    • ‘And doing the rounds in one day certainly did not detract from the quality of the gifts.’
    • ‘Here, the backgrounds are obtrusive and detract from the rest of the action.’
    • ‘The cups must be free of any defects that would detract from their appearance or affect their performance.’
    • ‘The validity and relevance of some of this ancillary material is questionable and this potentially detracts from the value of the work, overall.’
    • ‘These combine to detract from the beauty of love in its pristine state.’
    • ‘His unusual creative process doesn't seem to detract from the final product.’
    • ‘The low correlation value is therefore explicable and does not detract from the findings.’
    • ‘There are not many places where you can get into conversation about how to detract from the value of the local housing.’
    • ‘Stylised fantasy environments can work, but here they feel cheap and persistently detract from the film itself.’
    • ‘Only the garish turquoise silk tie and the glint in his pale blue eyes detract from this picture of geriatric gentlemanliness.’
    • ‘Even a couple of wooden performances don't detract from its appeal.’
    • ‘Breeders of dogs whose tails are docked for cosmetic purposes say a ban would detract from the visual attraction of certain types.’
    • ‘As a result, the case is being made that money spent to minimise risk does not detract from shareholder value, but protects it.’
    • ‘The weak jokes should not, however, detract from the seriousness of the issue.’
    • ‘This had a subtle blend of flavours so as not to detract from the delicate-tasting prawns which were in plentiful supply.’
    • ‘But that should not detract from what was an excellent all-round performance from the home side.’
    belittle, take away from, diminish, reduce, lessen, minimize, lower, make light of, play down, discount, soft-pedal, brush aside, gloss over, trivialize, decry, depreciate, denigrate, devalue, devaluate, deprecate
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    1. 1.1[with object]Take away (a specified amount) from the worth or value of a quality or achievement.
      ‘it is detracting nothing from his ability to say that he owed the championship to a superior car’
      • ‘The fact Colin never won Olympic gold does not detract one bit from his achievements.’
      • ‘And in a true testimony to the power of the narrative, knowledge of the eventual outcome detracts nothing from the exhilarating story.’
      • ‘The absence of such a discussion detracts somewhat from the book's overall contribution.’
      • ‘Kalyan said in a statement that the minister's statement had been a ‘smokescreen aimed at detracting government's feeble track record to date in handling the epidemic’.’
      • ‘It adds and detracts nothing to the formula while being intended as little more than homage to a genre.’
      • ‘There are some graphical problems, and the AI sucks, but that doesn't detract much from the fun of it.’
      • ‘It detracts a little from the level of realism but after a while you forget about it.’
      • ‘We have had to display a lot more than our own hand-made goods, which does detract a bit from our crafting origins, but we are determined to make a go of it.’
      • ‘Both courses are extensively landscaped, detracting a bit from the natural setting.’
      • ‘Today the oil money adds or detracts nothing from the intensity of this celebration.’
      • ‘Well, most of the time it is, but the occasional lapse into fairly standard old-school hardcore detracts little from a record bursting with focused energy.’
      • ‘Such criticisms hardly detract much from his singular truthfulness.’
      • ‘The criterion for success was a polity which detracted least from the pretensions of a sovereign nation to manage its own affairs; reasons for failure can be found largely in the historical burdens carried by all those polities.’
      • ‘As the proprietor of a project that heavily relies on FIR, I receive a consistent volume of email detracting the method.’
      • ‘Nothing in the voicemail adds or detracts anything from the written consent or to the recorded contemplation of the parties at the time in respect of adversity.’
      • ‘The beauty of it all is that neither a limited budget nor a skimpy rehearsal period detracted a jot from the occasion's powerful and memorable impact.’
      • ‘Far from having the character of final coda, the added six months would, if he got them, be anticlimactic, detracting a bit from the beauty of his life as a whole.’
      • ‘As with all great bands, such archaeology doesn't detract one iota, but allows us to indulge in a kind of aural watch repairing.’
      • ‘But this should not detract greatly from the importance of Berger's larger points.’
      • ‘And thinking about it that does detract somewhat from his achievement.’


Late Middle English: from Latin detract- drawn away, from the verb detrahere, from de- away from + trahere draw.