9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-trakt] /dɪˈtrækt/
verb (used without object)
to take away a part, as from quality, value, or reputation (usually followed by from).
verb (used with object)
to draw away or divert; distract:
to detract another's attention from more important issues.
Archaic. to take away (a part); abate:
The dilapidated barn detracts charm from the landscape.
Origin of detract
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English (< Middle French detracter) < Latin dētractus drawn away (past participle of dētrahere), equivalent to dē- de- + tractus drawn; see tract1
Related forms
detractingly, adverb
detractor, noun
undetracting, adjective
undetractingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for detractors
  • The languages lobby needs proponents, not detractors, who will help to emphasize the value of languages.
  • The onus isn't on his detractors to prove that this stunt was a really, really bad decision.
  • Conspiracy theories abounded, in some cases urged on by the presidents' detractors.
  • detractors claim that this rosy scenario overlooks unresolved issues.
  • We've been underestimated many times in the past, often to the detriment of our detractors and those who seek to do us harm.
  • However, as many of his fans are indeed guilty of doing that, as his detractors.
  • Supporters retweet endlessly, detractors retweet endlessly.
  • It is the one point on which admirers and detractors can agree.
  • The more obscure and oracular his language became, the more followers-and detractors-he drew.
  • He's everything that both his detractors and supporters say about him.
British Dictionary definitions for detractors


when intr, usually foll by from. to take away a part (of); diminish: her anger detracts from her beauty
(transitive) to distract or divert
(transitive) (obsolete) to belittle or disparage
Derived Forms
detractingly, adverb
detractive, detractory, adjective
detractively, adverb
detractor, noun
Usage note
Detract is sometimes wrongly used where distract is meant: a noise distracted (not detracted) my attention
Word Origin
C15: from Latin dētractus drawn away, from dētrahere to pull away, disparage, from de- + trahere to drag
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for detractors



early 15c., from Middle French détracter, from Latin detractus, past participle of detrahere "to take down, pull down, disparage" (see detraction). Related: Detracted; detracting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for detract

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for detractors

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with detractors

Nearby words for detractors