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
early 15c., from Middle French détracter, from Latin detractus, past participle of detrahere “to take down, pull down, disparage” (see detraction). Related: Detracted; detracting.