(of a muscle) to draw, thrust, or extend (a part, etc.) forwards

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
protract
(of a muscle) to draw, thrust, or extend (a part, etc.) forwards
Collins dictionary

Does that mean that a muscle moves a part of your body forward?
Thank you.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Here protract is being used as the converse of contract. Collins's definition is poor and confusing. It implies that muscles can extend themselves. Unfortunately, muscles cannot extend themselves and thus cannot be said to "protract" themselves (although they do contract themselves.)-> muscles can contract or relax: muscle A can be said to be protracted (stretched) by the action of an opposing muscle, B.

    Movement in your body (other than by gravity or exterior force) is caused by muscles contracting -> obviously, some muscles must also relax to allow this. All contraction of muscles will cause movement in the attached body part.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes. Protract your tonge = stick your tongue out. Protract your thigh = move your thigh forward by flexing the hip joint.

    No, it is not the converse of contract, it is the converse of retract. The Collins definition is not poor and confusing: "(a part, etc)" is the object of the verb and is an essential part of the definition.

    As an example, "Genioglossus protracts the tongue."
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Here protract is being used as the converse of contract. Collins's definition is poor and confusing. It implies that muscles can extend themselves. Unfortunately, muscles cannot extend themselves and thus cannot be said to "protract" themselves (although they do contract themselves.)-> muscles can contract or relax: muscle A can be said to be protracted (stretched) by the action of an opposing muscle, B.

    Movement in your body (other than by gravity or exterior force) is caused by muscles contracting -> obviously, some muscles must also relax to allow this. All contraction of muscles will cause movement in the attached body part.
    Hmmm... I took it differently:):
    a muscle extends "a part (of your body)", not itself.
    Like:
    dress
    (of a man) put (a piece of clothing) on

    (self-made:D)
    I mean -- a man puts on clothing, not themself...
    What do you think?

    cross-posted with Andygc
     
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