One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘the sea otter can retract the claws on its front feet’
pull in, draw in, pull back, sheathe, put away
2‘he apologized and retracted his allegation’
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
eat one's words
British do an about-turn on
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