retcon

1 of 2

noun

ret·​con ˈret-ˌkän How to pronounce retcon (audio)
plural retcons
: the act, practice, or result of changing an existing fictional narrative by introducing new information in a later work that recontextualizes previously established events, characters, etc.
Could Bail's Backstory—and by extension the childhood of Princess Leia—suddenly be getting a retcon?Ryan Britt
The character has done everything from going into dormancy after losing his powers to being destroyed to being brought back via retconSage Ashford
Then came the series finale, and one of the most famous—and, depending on one's perspective, fascinating or infuriating—retcons in the history of TV.Emily Nussbaum

retcon

2 of 2

verb

retconned; retconning; retcons

transitive verb

: to apply a retcon to (a fictional story, character, event, etc.)
The Sherlock Holmes character has been retconned dozens of times in various media.Peter Hartlaub
The revival won't be retconning the original ending.Marco Vito

Examples of retcon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
There are no retcons, no plans to figure out what to do 20 issues down the line. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Oct. 2023 However, the 2018 trilogy completely retcons every Halloween movie except the first, bringing her back to life. Keith Langston, Peoplemag, 17 Oct. 2023 The timelines finally converged at the end of F6, albeit with a slight retcon: new big bad Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is revealed to be the driver of the car that killed Han, an act of revenge against the Family for their defeat of his younger brother, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), in the film. Tres Dean, Vulture, 23 June 2021 While comics chronology has always had a history of being loopy, with lots of re-sets, re-dos, retcons and multiple versions of the same hero having adventures simultaneously, comic-book movies are now catching up and doing the same thing. Good Housekeeping, 6 Apr. 2023 This rights divide is probably behind the Axis retcon that removed Wanda and Pietro's status as mutants; at the time, Marvel comics were really averse to publishing prominent stories about the X-Men and Fantastic Four while Fox retained the screen rights to those characters. Christian Holub, EW.com, 18 Feb. 2021 The Vecna retcon shifts the tone of the previous seasons, removing the Lovecraftian horror of the Mind Flayer, a Kaiju-size amoeba that appeared to be eating and expanding purely for the sake of it. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 3 July 2022 But there’s another report about the next trilogy that says the upcoming fourth movie will deliver some sort of mysterious retcon. Chris Smith, BGR, 2 Feb. 2022 Consider it a subtle retcon, a way to erase years of our lying eyes telling us that Dom should be slightly shorter than his male co-stars. Nate Jones, Vulture, 30 June 2021
Verb
Therefore, Deadpool 3 has to retcon this problem. Chris Smith, BGR, 25 June 2022 And those who have come to rely on the market as the ultimate barometer of value have to retcon a rationale for rampant speculation. Konstanze Frischen, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 That would be the only conceivable way to retcon this ending short of having Laurie wake up from a dream: Some sort of reveal that the man thrown into the car crusher wasn't Michael. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 14 Oct. 2022 The Walking Dead’s showrunners decided to retcon everything, raise her from the dead, and roll the dice. Erik Kain, Forbes, 8 June 2022 Impending doom doesn't retcon those years into a golden age. Darren Franich, EW.com, 26 Mar. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'retcon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

retroactive continuity

Verb

derivative of retcon entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

1989, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1989, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of retcon was in 1989

Dictionary Entries Near retcon

Cite this Entry

“Retcon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retcon. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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