V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. to formally withdraw or take back a statement, usually under pressure; 2. to withdraw or pull back from something

Synonyms: abjure, disclaim, renege, recant, withdraw, retreat

Antonyms: protract

Tips: To retract is, essentially, to take something back. When you say publicly that you were incorrect or your statement was false, you retract your statement. One can also retract, or pull back from something, in fear or disgust. The related noun retraction refers to an official repeal or nullification of something. It is usually heard in terms of a publication printing a retraction or retracting something said, which was later proven to be false.

Usage Examples:

The alleged rape victim retracted her earlier accusation, due to the fact that her reputation was being called into question by the defense. (withdrew)

My cat will retract her claws if she feels she is no longer threatened. (withdraw)

I retracted in disgust from the smell of the garbage. (pulled back, retreated)

If the newspaper doesn't retract its slanderous statements against me, I'll be forced to sue for libel. (abjure, withdraw, recant)

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