Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To draw or take away; divert.
  • intransitive verb To reduce the value, importance, or quality of something. Often used with from.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To take away; withdraw; abate: now always with a quantitative term as direct object, followed by from: as, the defect detracts little from the intrinsic value.
  • To depreciate the reputation or merit of; disparage; belittle; defame.
  • Synonyms Decry, Depreciate, Detract from, etc. See decry.
  • To take away a part; hence, specifically, to take away reputation or merit: followed by from.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To take away; to withdraw.
  • transitive verb To take credit or reputation from; to defame.
  • intransitive verb To take away a part or something, especially from one's credit; to lessen reputation; to derogate; to defame; -- often with from.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To take away; to withdraw or remove.
  • verb transitive To take credit or reputation from; to defame or decry.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb take away a part from; diminish

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English detracten, from Latin dētrahere, dētract-, to remove : dē-, de- + trahere, to pull.]

Examples

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