transitive verb[with object]
2Withdraw (a statement or accusation) as untrue or unjustified.
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 onView synonyms
- ‘he retracted his allegations’
- 2.1Withdraw or go back on (an undertaking)
- ‘the parish council was forced to retract a previous resolution’
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’).