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One that retracts, as:
a. Anatomy A muscle, such as a flexor, that retracts an organ or a part.
b. Medicine A surgical instrument used to hold back organs or the edges of an incision.


1. (Anatomy) anatomy any of various muscles that retract an organ or part
2. (Surgery) surgery an instrument for holding back the edges of a surgical incision or organ or part
3. a person or thing that retracts


(rɪˈtræk tər)

1. a person or thing that retracts.
2. Surg. an instrument for drawing back the edges of an incision.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.retractor - surgical instrument that holds back the edges of a surgical incisionretractor - surgical instrument that holds back the edges of a surgical incision
surgical instrument - a medical instrument used in surgery
References in periodicals archive ?
These conditions are clearly more reminiscent of the ancestral snail condition, with a single columellar muscle dividing into the various retractor muscle elements some distance from its point of origin within a well-developed shell.
The following steps in larval development consisted in the formation of the retractor muscle (stage 18) and the integumental attachment to the larval shell (stage 19) (Fig.
The fine structure of the contractile apparatus of the anterior byssus retractor muscle of Mytilus edulis.
The biologic zero point (BZP) of hybrid Pacific abalone Haliotis discus hannai (China) and Haliotis discus discus (Japan) at temperatures of 16[degrees]C, 20[degrees]C, and 22[degrees]C was calculated from the developmental hatching rate, formation of larval retractor muscle, 90 degree torsion and formation of epipodial tentacles.