retraction (n.) Look up retraction at
late 14c., "withdrawal of an opinion," from Latin retractionem (nominative retractio) "a drawing back, hesitation, refusal," noun of action from past participle stem of retractare "revoke, cancel," from re- "back" (see re-) + tractere "draw violently," frequentative of trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)). Originally the title of a book by St. Augustine correcting his former writings. Meaning "recantation of opinion with admission of error" is from 1540s.