late 14c., retraccioun, "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 English title of a book by St. Augustine ("Retraciones") correcting his former writings. General sense of "a withdrawal or drawing back" is from early 15c. The meaning "recantation of opinion with admission of error" is from 1540s.
"act of forsaking or abandoning," 1590s, from French désertion (early 15c.), from Late Latin desertionem (nominative desertio) "a forsaking, abandoning," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin deserere "to abandon, to leave, forsake, give up, leave in the lurch," from de "undo" (see de-) + serere "join together, put in a row" (from PIE root *ser- (2) "to line up"). In law, "willful withdrawal of one of the married parties from the other without cause or justification." Earlier in astrology, "forsaking or withdrawal of a favorable influence" (mid-15c.).
c. 1400, "withdrawal, removal," from Late Latin subtractionem (nominative subtractio) "a drawing back, taking away," from past participle stem of Latin subtrahere "take away, draw off, draw from below," from sub "from under" (see sub-) + trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)). The mathematical sense is attested from early 15c.
Þou most know þat subtraccion is drawynge of one nowmber oute of anoþer nomber. ["The Crafte of Nombrynge," c. 1425]
c. 1400, "a withdrawal from worldly affairs, asceticism," from Old French abstraction (14c.), from Late Latin abstractionem (nominative abstractio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin abstrahere "to drag away, detach, pull away, divert;" also figuratively, from assimilated form of ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + trahere "to draw," from PIE root *tragh- "to draw, drag, move" (see tract (n.1)). Meaning "idea of something that has no actual existence" is from 1640s.