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v. re·tract·ed, re·tract·ing, re·tracts
1. To take back; disavow: refused to retract the statement.
2. To draw back or in: a plane retracting its landing gear.
3. Linguistics
a. To utter (a sound) with the tongue drawn back.
b. To draw back (the tongue).
1. To take something back or disavow it.
2. To draw back: a leash that retracts into a plastic case. See Synonyms at recede1.

[Latin retractāre, to revoke, frequentative of retrahere, to draw back : re-, re- + trahere, to draw. V., tr., senses 2 and 3, and v., intr., sense 2, Middle English retracten, from Old French retracter, from Latin retractus, past participle of retrahere.]

re·tract′a·bil′i·ty, re·tract′i·bil′i·ty n.
re·tract′a·ble, re·tract′i·ble adj.
re′trac·ta′tion (rē′trăk-tā′shən) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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A formal statement of disavowal:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"I am determined not to be content with anything short of an entire retractation."
"Come," said he, "this matter will want a good deal of talking over; a retractation is always a serious thing, you know.
Do you insist on this retractation so far as to kill me if I do not make it, although I have repeated more than once, and affirmed on my honor, that I was ignorant of the thing with which you charge me, and although I still declare that it is impossible for any one but you to recognize the Count of Morcerf under the name of Fernand?"
said Bella; she might as well mention one other thing; Lizzie was very desirous to thank her unknown friend who had sent her the written retractation. Was she, indeed?
Her mind was theoretic, and yearned by its nature after some lofty conception of the world which might frankly include the parish of Tipton and her own rule of conduct there; she was enamoured of intensity and greatness, and rash in embracing whatever seemed to her to have those aspects; likely to seek martyrdom, to make retractations, and then to incur martyrdom after all in a quarter where she had not sought it.
Il est egalement competent pour statuer sur les recours formes contre ses propres arrets, comme l'opposition, la tierce opposition et la retractation.
Cette retractation unanime, qui met fin a une coalition de la formation d'extreme-droite avec les chretiens conservateurs du Parti populaire EuVP qui aura dure 18 mois, survient a la suite de la diffusion vendredi, par [beaucoup moins que]Der Spiegel[beaucoup plus grand que] et la [beaucoup moins que]SE-ddeutsche Zeitung[beaucoup plus grand que], d'une video filmee a l'insu du vice-chancelier autrichien, durant l'ete 2017, dans une villa sise a Ibiza.
The poem exhaustively illustrates Webster's root identification of dramatic character with interior ethical conflict, patterned, it seems, on the poetic doublings back that typify such examples as Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" and Browning's Pauline--and risking, like those poems, the prolix attenuation to which the explicitness of their shared method of serial retractation can give rise.
A la fin de l'enquete, une decision editoriale sera prise au sujet de la publication, de la correction ou de la retractation du materiel en question.
may not be explained as Roman defects due to contamination or retractation," but can be attributed rather to "internal or external necessity which, in my opinion, made them inevitable in the Greek original." Prescott's objections went largely unnoticed, and Kathryn Gutzwiller and Ann Michelini (1991, 67-8) demonstrate how the early German tradition continued to influence and limit subsequent approaches by privileging attention to minutiae and questions of authenticity regarded by some as the most objective form of literary study.