Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.
Related to detract: thesaurus
to take away a part of the quality, value, or reputation: Don’t detract from the value of his remarks.
Not to be confused with:
distract – to disturb or trouble greatly: Her grief distracted her from her work.; bewilder, agitate, pain, torment, distress; to provide a pleasant diversion for; amuse; entertain: A good movie will always distract me from my worries.
v. de·tract·ed, de·tract·ing, de·tracts
To draw or take away; divert: They could detract little from so solid an argument.
To reduce the value, importance, or quality of something. Often used with from: testimony that only detracts from the strength of the plaintiff's case.
[Middle English detracten, from Latin dētrahere, dētract-, to remove : dē-, de- + trahere, to pull.]
1. (when: intr, usually foll by from) to take away a part (of); diminish: her anger detracts from her beauty.
2. (tr) to distract or divert
3. (tr) obsolete to belittle or disparage
[C15: from Latin dētractus drawn away, from dētrahere to pull away, disparage, from de- + trahere to drag]
deˈtractive, deˈtractory adj
deˈtractress fem n
Usage: Detract is sometimes wrongly used where distract is meant: a noise distracted (not detracted) my attention
1. to take away a part, as from value or reputation (usu. fol. by from).v.t.
2. to divert; distract: to detract attention from a problem.
3. Archaic. to take away.
[1400–50; late Middle English (< Middle French detracter) < Latin dētractus, past participle of dētrahere to detach, draw off =dē- de- + trahere to draw]
Past participle: detracted
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|Verb||1.||detract - take away a part from; diminish; "His bad manners detract from his good character"|