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Pronunciation: re-trak'tor, -tor


  1. An instrument for drawing aside the edges of a wound or for holding back structures adjacent to the operative field.
  2. A muscle that draws a body part backward, the middle part of the trapezius muscle is a retractor of the scapula; the horizontal fibers of the temporalis muscle serve to retract the mandible.
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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.