Etymology
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tract (n.1)

"area," mid-15c., "period or lapse of time," from Latin tractus "track, course, space, duration," lit, "a drawing out or pulling," from stem of trahere "to pull, draw," from PIE root *tragh- "to draw, drag, move" (source also of Slovenian trag "trace, track," Middle Irish tragud "ebb;" perhaps with a variant form *dhragh-; see drag (v.)). The meaning "stretch of land or water" is first recorded 1550s. Specific U.S. sense of "plot of land for development" is recorded from 1912; tract housing attested from 1953.

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tract (n.2)

"little book, treatise" mid-12c., probably a shortened form of Latin tractatus "a handling, treatise, treatment," from tractare "to handle" (see treat (v.)). Related: Tractarian.

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trattoria (n.)

"Italian restaurant," 1832, from Italian trattoria, from trattore "host, keeper of an eating house," from trattare "to treat," from Latin tractare, frequentative of trahere (past participle tractus) "to draw" (see tract (n.1)).

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trait (n.)

late 15c., "shot, missiles;" later "a stroke in drawing, a short line" (1580s), from French trait "line, stroke, feature, tract," from Latin tractus "drawing, drawing out, dragging, pulling," later "line drawn, feature," from past participle stem of trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)). Sense of "particular feature, distinguishing quality" in English is first recorded 1752.

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trace (n.2)

"straps or chains by which an animal pulls a vehicle," c. 1300, from earlier collective plural trays, from Old French traiz, plural of trait "strap for harnessing, act of drawing," from Latin tractus "a drawing, track," from stem of trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)). Related: Traces.

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contractile (adj.)

"susceptible of contraction," 1706, from French contractile, from Latin contract-, past participle stem of contrahere "to draw several objects together; draw in, shorten," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)). Related: Contractility.

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extract (v.)

"to draw out, withdraw, take or get out, pull out or remove from a fixed position, literally or figuratively," late 15c., from Latin extractus, past participle of extrahere "draw out," from ex "out, out of" (see ex-) + trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)). Related: Extracted; extracting.

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detract (v.)

early 15c., detracten, "disparage, defame, slander," from Latin detractus, past participle of detrahere "to take down, pull down, disparage," from de "down" (see de-) + trahere "to pull" (see tract (n.1)). Literal sense of "take away, withdraw" (c. 1500) is rare in English. Related: Detracted; detracting.

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traction (n.)

early 15c., "a drawing or pulling" (originally the pulling of a dislocated limb to reposition it), from Medieval Latin tractionem (nominative tractio) "a drawing" (mid-13c.), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)). Sense of "friction between a wheel and the surface it moves upon" first appears 1825. In modern medical care, "a sustained pull to a part of the body to hold fractured bones in position," 1885.

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detractor (n.)

"one who takes away from or injures the good name of another," late 14c., from Anglo-French detractour, Old French detractor "detractor, backbiter" and directly from Latin detractor, agent noun from detrahere "take down, pull down, disparage," from de "down" (see de-) + trahere "to pull" (see tract (n.1)).  The fem. form detractress is attested from 1716 (Addison). 

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