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.
- (when intr, usually foll by from) to take away a part (of); diminishher anger detracts from her beauty
- (tr) to distract or divert
- (tr) obsolete to belittle or disparage
late 14c., from Anglo-French detractour, Old French detractor “detractor, backbiter,” from Latin detractor, agent noun from detrahere (see detraction).
early 15c., from Middle French détracter, from Latin detractus, past participle of detrahere “to take down, pull down, disparage” (see detraction). Related: Detracted; detracting.