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detract

[dih-trakt] /dɪˈtrækt/
verb (used without object)
1.
to take away a part, as from quality, value, or reputation (usually followed by from).
verb (used with object)
2.
to draw away or divert; distract:
to detract another's attention from more important issues.
3.
Archaic. to take away (a part); abate:
The dilapidated barn detracts charm from the landscape.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for detracts
  • If everyone brings out their phones, it detracts from the experience.
  • And that you can split hairs over it only detracts from your argument.
  • That, however, in no way detracts from its enormous utility.
  • With professors spending so much time blogging for no payment, universities might wonder whether this detracts from their value.
  • All of this benefits employees and adds to, rather than detracts from, job satisfaction.
  • He constantly makes fun of the sports he has to cover, and it totally detracts from the coverage.
  • It is a misuse of a graduate student's time and detracts from his or her efforts to complete degree requirements.
  • Loud noise detracts from the wilderness setting and disturbs others.
  • The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words.
British Dictionary definitions for detracts

detract

/dɪˈtrækt/
verb
1.
when intr, usually foll by from. to take away a part (of); diminish: her anger detracts from her beauty
2.
(transitive) to distract or divert
3.
(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
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Word Origin and History for detracts

detract

v.

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
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