Definition of retract verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    retract

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//rɪˈtrækt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈtrækt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they retract
    BrE BrE//rɪˈtrækt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈtrækt//
     
    he / she / it retracts
    BrE BrE//rɪˈtrækts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈtrækts//
     
    past simple retracted
    BrE BrE//rɪˈtræktɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈtræktɪd//
     
    past participle retracted
    BrE BrE//rɪˈtræktɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈtræktɪd//
     
    -ing form retracting
    BrE BrE//rɪˈtræktɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈtræktɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[transitive] retract something (formal) to say that something you have said earlier is not true or correct or that you did not mean it He made a false confession which he later retracted. They tried to persuade me to retract my words. to retract a claim/an allegation/a confession
  2. 2[transitive] retract something (formal) to refuse to keep an agreement, a promise, etc. to retract an offer
  3. 3[intransitive, transitive] (specialist) to move back into the main part of something; to pull something back into the main part of something The animal retracted into its shell. The undercarriage failed to retract. retract something The undercarriage was fully retracted.
  4. Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin retract- ‘drawn back’, from the verb retrahere (from re- ‘back’ + trahere ‘drag’); the senses ‘withdraw (a statement)’ and ‘go back on’ via Old French from retractare ‘reconsider’ (based on trahere ‘drag’).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: retract