Definition of retractile in English:



  • Capable of being retracted.

    ‘a long retractile proboscis’
    • ‘The feeding zooids use retractile tentacles, called the lophophore, to filter feed and have a U-shaped gut for digestion.’
    • ‘The morphology of the middle and distal phalanx in Tapocyon exhibits a retractile claw condition, supporting this as the primitive condition for Carnivora / Carnivoramorpha.’
    • ‘The habit of felids to use primarily their forelimbs to capture prey is supported by the anatomy and function of their retractile claws.’
    • ‘Like scaphopods, bivalves have a retractile foot which they use to burrow.’
    • ‘In Australia, for example, marsupial herbivores the size of a rhinoceros, kangaroos nearly 10 feet tall, and carnivorous lion-like forms with shearing teeth and retractile claws all roamed the landscape.’


Late 18th century: from retract, on the pattern of contractile.