Definition of retract in English:

retract

verb

  • 1Draw or be drawn back or back in.

    with object ‘she retracted her hand as if she'd been burnt’
    no object ‘the tentacle retracted quickly’
    • ‘They boarded quickly and both ships lifted off as the boarding ramps retracted.’
    • ‘He hit the button to open the hatch, which hissed and retracted back into the bulkhead, allowing him to step into the airlock.’
    • ‘Once its trajectory was straightened out, the wings of the plane retracted to the sides, for they would only slow it down.’
    • ‘Her body twisted, bringing about one with strength her opponent would not expect, and retracted quickly to deliver another blow upon the same place.’
    • ‘Immediately the iron bars retracted into the ceiling.’
    • ‘She did not notice that her seat retracted when she got up to collect Joshua immediately before the accident.’
    • ‘The choker arch extends hydraulically toward the load then retracts as the load is winched in, lifting the butts onto the rear deck of the machine closer to its centre of gravity.’
    • ‘The electrically adjustable heated door mirrors now retract fully.’
    • ‘Behind West, the retractable path that led to the elevator retracted, leaving them stranded on the circular platform.’
    • ‘The sliding rear doors make a lot of sense in supermarket car-parks and the rear-shelf, which retracts cleanly and effortlessly like a concertina, increases the already vast luggage space.’
    • ‘Once the cut button is released, the blade retracts out of harm's way.’
    • ‘Heavy mechanical noises sounded through the pressurized sections of the hull as huge clamps and umbilicals retracted.’
    • ‘After removal of the fat, skin retracts in 90% of patients.’
    • ‘Just as the tornado was about to engulf me, it lifted up into the air, and retracted into the clouds.’
    • ‘Her bare feet created a rhythm of their own as she moved all over the floor, lunging and retracting, parrying invisible foes.’
    • ‘The parachute had retracted in a mere fraction of a second, so quickly that Alan barely saw it withdraw.’
    • ‘Dean took both ends of his whip, one in each hand, then moved up to the mark and got into a fighting stance, his right leg forward and his torso turned to the side, so he could lash out with his whip quickly and retract quickly.’
    • ‘Soon after departure, the train's wheels retract and it floats 10 centimeters above the track.’
    • ‘The chain retracted and the pair was slowly lifted out of the water.’
    • ‘With the push of a button, a section of the teak aft sun deck retracts and is replaced with an artificial grass surface replete with automatic golf tees that pop up 500 floating golf balls.’
    pull in, draw in, pull back, sheathe, put away
    View synonyms
  • 2with object Withdraw (a statement or accusation) as untrue or unjustified.

    ‘he retracted his allegations’
    • ‘Right now, only three months later, I would like to retract what I said.’
    • ‘No sooner does he draw a grand comparison than he retracts or qualifies it.’
    • ‘Okay, I'm prepared to retract my original statement.’
    • ‘He said: "I do not retract what I have put in writing."’
    • ‘Unfortunately, that study is going to be retracted due to some small problems.’
    • ‘He subsequently retracted the claim but in a manner that failed to reassure many experts.’
    • ‘There was desperate silence, as if David was hoping that if he waited long enough, the question would be retracted.’
    • ‘They then retracted their statement and said that some of the injuries were old.’
    • ‘After public embarrassment, the agency retracted the memo.’
    • ‘John finally confesses to Danforth, but retracts his confession when he refuses to have the paper that he signed hung up on the church door.’
    • ‘There is, as it seems to me at least, nothing in that judgment which the court should now seek to vary, modify or retract, assuming that it were open to the court to do so.’
    • ‘Gartner has retracted its most recent quarterly server numbers and published revised statistics.’
    • ‘He subsequently retracted the remark, admitting that he had ‘overreacted.’’
    • ‘‘It's his own doing, is what I meant,’ she'd said, retracting a little, but not retreating.’
    • ‘The minister has asked Brady about the feasibility of a procedure used in Canada, which allows a jury to consider statements that have been retracted by the witnesses.’
    • ‘He also said he was considering reintroducing tuition fees, then retracted his statement.’
    • ‘By retracting his confession he lost the opportunity of being considered for parole.’
    • ‘When finally he is convinced that Macduff is sincere, however, he retracts his self-denigration and explains why he has lied in this peculiar fashion.’
    • ‘‘I doubt I will need to go farther than the foothills of the Sh'iwa Mountains,’ I reply, retracting my earlier statement.’
    • ‘However, the company quickly retracted its statement, claiming instead that the timepieces would go on sale that very month.’
    take back, withdraw, unsay, recant, disown, disavow, disclaim, abjure, repudiate, renounce, reverse, revoke, rescind, annul, cancel, go back on, backtrack on, do a u-turn on, row back on
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Withdraw or go back on (an undertaking)
      ‘the parish council was forced to retract a previous resolution’
      • ‘Your Honours, I made some concessions either explicit or implicit on the last occasion which I wish to retract.’
      • ‘The seller, John Leitch, did send in a link to the auction page earlier this morning showing £110,000 had been bid and the reserve met - but this bid was later retracted.’
      • ‘If it is corrected before the player who revoked plays to the next trick, the opponent who played after the revoke may retract one's card and substitute another.’
      • ‘A played card cannot be retracted and as soon as it is played the opponent is entitled to play on it.’
      • ‘Several weeks later, Pioneer retracted its decision, allegedly due to concern about unfavorable publicity and pressure from its labor union.’
      • ‘Once software has been licensed under the GPL, the license cannot be retracted.’
      • ‘I am even thinking about retracting my business from them all together.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin retract- ‘drawn back’, from the verb retrahere (from re- ‘back’ + trahere ‘drag’); the senses ‘withdraw (a statement’) and ‘go back on’ via Old French from retractare ‘reconsider’ (based on trahere ‘drag’).

Pronunciation

retract

/rɪˈtrakt/