引き手 or simply 引手 can be translated as knob, handle or catch.
Within Budo the translation is usually the pulling back of the hand. This is also logic if you analyse the Kanji seperately.
引 = hiki (hiku = verb) = to pull
手 = te = hand
Hikite is most commonly described as the pulling back of a punch or the position at the side of the chest. Hikite itself indeed refers to pulling back, but not necessarily a punch. In fact, any movement after attacking with your arm can be classified as Hikite. Since we are practicing Budo, which you can see as a specialisation, words such as Hikite are not always clear. In the summer of 2015 for example, I was in Japan. Since I can read several Kanji I was able to discover the true meaning of Nagasu on the toilet..
Of course I am not serious with this example, but it does show that the meaning of or behind a word can be quite different in daily life as opposed to using it professionally. The same goes for Hikite.
Hikite does not only describe the pulling of the hand and the end position, but also the function.
Hikite as a term within Karate, is attributed to different forms:
The fist has a start (1) and a final position (2). For convenience sake, let's assume that your arm is stretched. The action of bringing back your fist from the stretched position to the end position at the side of the chest is one of the Hikite. The name of the action is therefore called Hikite, which actually takes place between picture 1 and 2.
1. Arm streched
2. Arm pulled back
The action of pulling back is called Hikite.
Having said that, the end position is called Hikite as well.
The end position of the action at the side of the chest is also called Hikite. Although there are numerous of possible positions if you are going to check inch by inch, you could categorise the end positions of Hikite in three heights.
It is commonly known that when it comes to sparring you have to pull your punch, called Hikite.
For beginners and competition type of fighting, Hikite is well known for its big and visible movement - especially for Tsuki.
For Uraken, there is also Hikite.