Simple Definition of retroactive
: effective from a particular date in the past
Full Definition of retroactive
: extending in scope or effect to a prior time or to conditions that existed or originated in the past; especially : made effective as of a date prior to enactment, promulgation, or imposition <retroactive tax>
Examples of retroactive
They all received a retroactive pay raise.
The new tax will be retroactive to January 1.
Origin of retroactive
French rétroactif, from Latin retroactus, past participle of retroagere to drive back, reverse, from retro- + agere to drive — more at agent
First Known Use: 1611
Medical Definition of retroactive
: having relation or reference to or efficacy in a prior time; specifically : relating to, caused by, or being obliteration of the results of learning by immediately subsequent activity <retroactive inhibition>
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