Definition of protraction in English:



  • 1The action of prolonging something or the state of being prolonged.

    ‘the protraction of the war’
    • ‘Such mathematical protraction excites the studious poker mind of the Wimbledon manager.’
    • ‘For breast cancer a loss of local control of 3% has been described for each day of protraction between external beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy boost.’
    • ‘Imagine them denuded of even the attenuated r and r release that they are allowed there; imagine their seemingly infinite protraction.’
    prolongation, lengthening, increase, protraction, continuation, perpetuation
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  • 2The action of extending a part of the body.

    • ‘Muscles necessary for the rapid dorsoventral expansion of the head are composed primarily of fast-twitch fibers while those involved in more tonic contractions such as hyoid protraction have more slow-twitch muscle fibers.’
    • ‘Many adult frogs capture prey on land using a forward lunge of the entire body in combination with protraction of a short tongue that reaches only slightly beyond the margins of the jaws.’
    • ‘Nor did he analyze whether a forelimb whose major function is protraction, retraction, and rotation (in flight) can also effectively supinate, adduct, and retract in that position to achieve climbing.’
    • ‘Hydrostatic elongation of the tongue involves narrowing of the tongue vertically and consequent lengthening and protraction from the mouth.’
    • ‘Another role of the scapula involves retraction and protraction along the thoracic wall.’


Mid 16th century: from French, or from late Latin protractio(n-), from protrahere prolong (see protract).