Definition of protract in English:



  • 1Prolong.

    ‘he had certainly taken his time, even protracting the process’
    • ‘The ‘winner-take-all electoral vote’ practice can avoid prolonged county by county vote count, which will inevitably protract the delivery of a new president.’
    • ‘There are examples of opponents who achieved equally dramatic successes by protracting or slowing the operational tempo.’
    • ‘In other words, a prudent, asymmetric-thinking enemy manipulates time and space to disperse the greater power's military forces, protracting the conflict and wearing down the will of the orthodox opponent.’
    • ‘And for the Chinese, the longer this protracts, the more difficult it becomes to keep it out of the international incident stage and handle it well.’
    • ‘His strategy was to protract negotiations until the enemy were exhausted, while assembling the forces necessary to crush them.’
    • ‘Men and women are encouraged to protract their sexually active lives, regardless of desire.’
    • ‘He still protracts the i in time, but his pronunciation seems deliberately disharmonic.’
    • ‘To deprive a successful litigant of interest on his or her legal costs is to encourage the losing side to delay and protract the assessment process.’
    • ‘That's why many antispammers squarely blame the trade group for protracting the junk-email war.’
    • ‘We've been in such a hurry for all these years for one main reason - the more the negotiations are protracted, the more difficult they become, which can be easily noticed.’
    • ‘I could have just said that there were lots of other options for GPs these days, but that would have simply protracted the conversation.’
    lengthen, make longer, extend, extend the duration of, draw out, drag out, spin out, stretch out, string out, elongate
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  • 2Draw (a plan, etc.) to scale.


Mid 16th century: from Latin protract- prolonged from the verb protrahere, from pro- out + trahere to draw.