v. de·tract·ed, de·tract·ing, de·tracts
To draw or take away; divert: They could detract little from so solid an argument.
To reduce the value, importance, or quality of something. Often used with from: testimony that only detracts from the strength of the plaintiff's case.
[Middle English detracten, from Latin dētrahere, dētract-, to remove : dē-, de- + trahere, to pull.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.