Etymology
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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.

updated on January 10, 2021

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Definitions of traction from WordNet

traction (n.)
the friction between a body and the surface on which it moves (as between an automobile tire and the road);
Synonyms: grip / adhesive friction
traction (n.)
(orthopedics) the act of pulling on a bone or limb (as in a fracture) to relieve pressure or align parts in a special way during healing;
his leg was in traction for several days
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.