re·​gres·​sive | \ ri-ˈgre-siv How to pronounce regressive (audio) \

Definition of regressive

1 : tending to regress or produce regression
2 : being, characterized by, or developing in the course of an evolutionary process involving increasing simplification of bodily structure
3 : decreasing in rate as the base increases a regressive tax

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Other Words from regressive

regressively adverb
regressiveness noun
regressivity \ ˌrē-​ˌgre-​ˈsi-​və-​tē How to pronounce regressivity (audio) \ noun

Examples of regressive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

That's especially true given the regressive nature of USF fees and their disproportionate burden on lower- and middle-income Americans. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai works to cap funding for rural and poor people, gets GOP backing," 4 June 2019 Cohn, a former top-ranking executive at Goldman Sachs and extremely rich person, for his trouble got to help put through a regressive tax cut and, eventually resurface lecturing freshman members of Congress on the ways of the world. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "There never were any “adults in the room”," 21 Dec. 2018 Tariffs on Chinese goods will in fact raise some tax revenue, though this is a highly regressive form of tax increase, and there’s obviously something bizarre about a Republican bragging about raising taxes. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump’s bizarre post-election press conference, explained," 7 Nov. 2018 Opponents have labeled the carbon fee a regressive tax that would hit hard at low-wage workers who have to drive long distances to work. Agueda Pacheco-flores, The Seattle Times, "Flyers citing Latino businesses’ opposition to carbon fee ignites campaign controversy," 31 Oct. 2018 Our regressive tax system … has the middle class paying more than double the rate the wealthy pay. John O'connor, The Seattle Times, "Gov. Pritzker gives Democrats near-record power in Illinois," 14 Jan. 2019 Count me among those who understand cutting the dividend, or capping it, is a vicious form of regressive taxation on Alaska's less fortunate — and an economy deflator. Paul Jenkins, Anchorage Daily News, "Don’t enshrine Alaska’s PFD in the constitution," 13 Jan. 2018 Last year the president and congressional Republicans pushed through what was probably the most regressive tax cut in U.S. history. Alan S. Blinder, WSJ, "What if Trump Really Wanted to Make America Great Again?," 3 Dec. 2018 Yet, the Trump administration has finalized a regressive set of health insurance policy changes that could roll back access to the very thing that has helped us get here: birth control. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Birth Control Helped Us Reach Historically Low Abortion Rates, But the Trump Administration Could Change That," 30 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'regressive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of regressive

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for regressive

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for regressive

The first known use of regressive was in 1634

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More Definitions for regressive


re·​gres·​sive | \ ri-ˈgres-iv How to pronounce regressive (audio) \

Medical Definition of regressive

: relating to, resulting from, producing, or characterized by regression regressive behavior regressive tissue changes

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More from Merriam-Webster on regressive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with regressive

Spanish Central: Translation of regressive

Nglish: Translation of regressive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of regressive for Arabic Speakers

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