• WordNet 3.6
    • v retract formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure "He retracted his earlier statements about his religion","She abjured her beliefs"
    • v retract pull inward or towards a center "The pilot drew in the landing gear","The cat retracted his claws"
    • v retract use a surgical instrument to hold open (the edges of a wound or an organ)
    • v retract pull away from a source of disgust or fear
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Tarantulas have retractable claws like cats and the hairs on their abdomen and back legs can stick into an enemy and itch. They also get bald on their thorax when they get old. Thanx Laura
    • n Retract (Far) The pricking of a horse's foot in nailing on a shoe.
    • Retract To draw back; to draw up or shorten; as, the cat can retract its claws; to retract a muscle.
    • Retract To draw back; to draw up; as, muscles retract after amputation.
    • Retract To take back what has been said; to withdraw a concession or a declaration. "She will, and she will not; she grants, denies,
      Consents, retracts , advances, and then files."
    • Retract To take back,, as a grant or favor previously bestowed; to revoke.
    • Retract To withdraw; to recall; to disavow; to recant; to take back; as, to retract an accusation or an assertion. "I would as freely have retracted this charge of idolatry as I ever made it."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The cheetah is the only cat in the world that can't retract its claws.
    • retract To draw back; draw in: sometimes opposed to protract or protrude: as, a cat retracts her claws.
    • retract To withdraw; remove.
    • retract To take back; undo; recall; recant: as, to retract an assertion or an accusation.
    • retract To contract; lessen in length; shorten. Synonyms Recant, Revoke, etc. (see renounce), disown, withdraw. See list under abjure.
    • retract To draw or shrink back; draw in; recede.
    • retract To undo or unsay what has been done or said before; recall or take back a declaration or a concession; recant.
    • n retract A falling back; a retreat.
    • n retract A retractation; recantation.
    • n retract In farriery, the prick of a horse's foot in nailing a shoe, requiring the nail to be withdrawn.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Tarantulas do not use muscles to move their legs. They control the amount of blood pumped into them to extend and retract their legs.
    • v.t Retract rē-trakt′ to retrace or draw back: to recall: to recant
    • v.i Retract to take back what has been said or granted
    • ***


  • Adlai E. Stevenson
    “Accuracy is to a newspaper what virtue is to a lady, but a newspaper can always print a retraction.”
  • Nellie Mcclung
    Nellie Mcclung
    “Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.”
  • T. S. Eliot
    “The awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence can never retract.”
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
    “In politics... never retreat, never retract... never admit a mistake.”
  • Ibn Gabirol
    Ibn Gabirol
    “I am better able to retract what I did not say than what I did.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. rétracter, L. retractare, retractatum, to handle again, reconsider, retract, fr. retrahere, retractum, to draw back. See Retreat


In literature:

As it happened, Maud Barrington overheard him and made him retract before the company.
"Winston of the Prairie" by Harold Bindloss
The facial portion, nose and jaws, is less developed and retracted beneath the larger cranium or brain-case.
"The Whence and the Whither of Man" by John Mason Tyler
So I retract my malediction.
"The Journal of Sir Walter Scott" by Walter Scott
A point held opposite to it did not cause the retraction of the cone to such an extent as when it was positive.
"Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1" by Michael Faraday
This is no longer the same man; he retracts again what he said.
"The Tragedies of Euripides, Volume I." by Euripides
Pratyahara, the retraction or withdrawing of the senses.
"Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3)" by Charles Eliot
This is conceded by one gentleman, and in the next breath the concession is retracted.
"American Eloquence, Volume I. (of 4) Studies In American Political History (1896)" by Various
Some of them were sent to the Tower, but they would not retract.
"The Reign of Henry the Eighth, Volume 1 (of 3)" by James Anthony Froude
White and color and also other things are not retracting what they are going to be doing.
"Matisse Picasso and Gertrude Stein" by Gertrude Stein
These are the fruits of metaphysic declarations wantonly made and shamefully retracted!
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke

In poetry:

I stand before the dread, unknown,
Yet solemn fact;
I see the seeds of folly sown
In wayward years, maturely grown,
Nor can retract.
"In Mortem Meditare." by Alfred Castner King
Meanwhile tied not quite close, but just apart,
In withy bands. . by him I swear, my tongue,
Zoe! can never utter half my love.
Retract not one fond word.
"Theron And Zoe" by Walter Savage Landor
Mark: Hold hard there, Maurice, my son,
Let her rest, since her spell is broken;
We can neither recall deeds rashly done,
Nor retract words hastily spoken.
"The Old Leaven" by Adam Lindsay Gordon
Better the flower that smooths the thorns
On earthly pathway found,
Than that which uselessly adorns
The bier or silent mound.
And neither tear nor floral token
Retracts the hasty word, when spoken.
"They Cannot See The Wreaths We Place." by Alfred Castner King
I register this vow, and am content
That it be so. Ah me!--yet, if the door
Shut on our heaven might be asunder rent
Even now, and I could see the way we went,
I might retract my vow, and say no more
I will forget.
"I Will Forget" by Sophie Margaret Hensley

In news:

This American Life' retraction goes deep.
Lou Dobbs' Statements Prompt Hispanic Chamber to Demand Retraction .
Rep John Shadegg has won an apology and a retraction from an author and a book publisher for repeating a story that Shadegg claims is "false and outrageous.".
Republicans Seek Retraction of Report on Wars' 'Hidden Costs'.
BellSouth Wants USA Today Retraction .
Cites Cuban Retraction on Shootdown.
Janet Jackson's Lawyer Demands Retraction From Vanity Fair Over Michael Jackson Burial Story.
Janet Jackson's attorney sent a scathing letter to Vanity Fair demanding a retraction of an article in the November 2012 issue.
It retracts automatically, allowing full use of the bed.
When he realizes how his confession will be used, however, he retracts it.
Of 2,000 retractions of published scientific papers since 1977, 866 were because of fraud, a new study finds.
A review of retractions in medical and biological peer-reviewed journals finds the percentage of studies that had to be withdrawn because of scientific misconduct has jumped several-fold since the mid-1970s.
WHEN A NEWSPAPER gets its facts wrong, it's supposed to publish a correction, and, if someone's reputation has been harmed, a retraction and apology.
Tony Iannucelli was thrilled with the looks of his Hangar 9.60-size Spitfire, but he wanted to personalize it with invasion stripes and electric retracts.
But she also retracts a claim she made early in her career, which was that she was bisexual .

In science:

The basic properties of retract rational field extensions are developed in [S].
Generic algebras with involution of degree 8m
Because of the above fact, we will talk about the retract rationality of the stable isomorphism class of a field extension K/F .
Generic algebras with involution of degree 8m
In [S] and [LN sec. 11] a general framework is described along with a result connecting lifting properties with retract rationality.
Generic algebras with involution of degree 8m
Then the stable isomorphism classes of F (V )P Spn and F (V )P On are retract rational over F .
Generic algebras with involution of degree 8m
Equivalently, the stable isomorphism classes of the centers Zt (F , n, r) and Zs (F , n, r) of the generic algebras with orthogonal respectively symplectic involution are retract rational over F .
Generic algebras with involution of degree 8m