Sunday, September 10, 2017

ELL vocabulary - protracted

definition: made longer
example:  The teacher began a protracted, boring discussion of how he brushes his teeth.
I used this word today and a friend did me the favor of asking what it meant.  It’s from Latin, a combination of the roots
pro + tract
Pro means “forward” or “out.”  Tract is from Latin tractare meaning draw, haul, pull, or drag about.  So protracted is “out-drawn.”  Drawn out!  Made longer.  Extended.  Lengthened.  Protracted.
Tract … can you think of another word in English that has this root?  Think farm tools.  What do you use to “drag about” things on a farm?
Yes.  Tractor.
A tractor drags things about on a farm.  You can connect different tools to the tractor, drive in through a field, and plow the ground, or rake it, or even plant seeds.  The wheels are big and sturdy so the tractor can drive properly on soft dirt.  
Any other words from tract ?  How about protractor?  Look that one up on your own.
Add your ideas about protracted, tractor, or anything else involving tract in the comments.
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