Definition of protract in English:



  • 1Prolong.

    ‘he had certainly taken his time, even protracting the process’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His strategy was to protract negotiations until the enemy were exhausted, while assembling the forces necessary to crush them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are examples of opponents who achieved equally dramatic successes by protracting or slowing the operational tempo.’
    • ‘That's why many antispammers squarely blame the trade group for protracting the junk-email war.’
    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’.