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late 14c., "withdrawal of an opinion," from Latin retractionem (nominative retractio) "a drawing back, hesitation, refusal," noun of action from past participle stem of retractare "revoke, cancel," from re- "back" (see re-) + tractere "draw violently," frequentative of trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)). Originally the title of a book by St. Augustine correcting his former writings. Meaning "recantation of opinion with admission of error" is from 1540s.
retraction re·trac·tion (rĭ-trāk'shən)
The act of drawing back or in; shrinking.
The act of pulling apart, usually as part of a surgical procedure.
The posterior movement of teeth, usually with the aid of an orthodontic appliance.