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A retraction is a public statement, either in print, or by verbal statement that is made to correct a previously made statement that was incorrect, invalid, or in error. The intent of a public retraction is to correct any incorrect information.
The term retraction carries stronger connotation than the term correction. An alteration that changes the main point of the original statement is generally referred to as a retraction while an alteration that leaves the main point of a statement intact is usually referred to simply as a correction.