The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Retract \Re*tract"\ (r[-e]*tr[=a]kt"), v. t. [imp. & p. p.
Retracted; p. pr. & vb. n. Retracting.] [F. r['e]tracter,
L. retractare, retractatum, to handle again, reconsider,
retract, fr. retrahere, retractum, to draw back. See
1. To draw back; to draw up or shorten; as, the cat can
retract its claws; to retract a muscle.
2. To withdraw; to recall; to disavow; to recant; to take
back; as, to retract an accusation or an assertion.
I would as freely have retracted this charge of
idolatry as I ever made it. --Bp.
3. To take back,, as a grant or favor previously bestowed; to
revoke. [Obs.] --Woodward.
Syn: To recall; withdraw; rescind; revoke; unsay; disavow;
recant; abjure; disown.