One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The action of prolonging something or the state of being prolonged.‘the protraction of the war’
prolongation, lengthening, increase, continuation, perpetuationView synonyms
- ‘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.’
2The action of extending a part of the body.
- ‘Another role of the scapula involves retraction and protraction along the thoracic wall.’
- ‘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.’
Mid 16th century: from French, or from late Latin protractio(n-), from protrahere ‘prolong’ (see protract).
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