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re·tract / riˈtrakt/ • v. [tr.] draw or pull (something) back or back in: she retracted her hand as if she'd been burned. ∎  withdraw (a statement or accusation) as untrue or unjustified: he retracted his allegations. ∎  withdraw or go back on (an undertaking or promise): the parish council was forced to retract a previous resolution. ∎  (of an animal) draw (a part of itself) back into its body: the cat retracted her claws. ∎  draw (the undercarriage or the wheels) up into the body of an aircraft. ∎  [intr.] be drawn back into something: the tentacle retracted quickly.DERIVATIVES: re·tract·a·ble·trac·tion / riˈtrakshən/·trac·tive / -tiv/ adj.