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From the past participle stem of Latin prōtrahō.



protract (third-person singular simple present protracts, present participle protracting, simple past and past participle protracted)

  1. To draw out; to extend, especially in duration.
    • 2010, Christopher Hitchens, ‘The Men Who Made England’, The Atlantic, Mar 2010:
      Still, from these extraordinary pages you can learn that it's very bad to be burned alive on a windy day, because the breeze will keep flicking the flames away from you and thus protract the process.
  2. To use a protractor.
  3. (surveying) To draw to a scale; to lay down the lines and angles of, with scale and protractor; to plot.
  4. To put off to a distant time; to delay; to defer.
    to protract a decision or duty
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  5. To extend; to protrude.
    A cat can protract and retract its claws.


Derived terms[edit]