1820s, "act of taking back," also "retraction of a statement," from withdraw + -al (2). Earlier words in the same sense were withdrawment (1640s); withdraught (mid-14c.). Meaning "removal of money from a bank, etc." is from 1861; psychological sense is from 1916; meaning "physical reaction to the cessation of an addictive substance" is from 1929 (with an isolated use from 1897; withdrawal symptom is from 1910). As a synonym for coitus interruptus from 1889.