ret·​ro | \ ˈre-(ˌ)trō How to pronounce retro (audio) \

Definition of retro

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to, reviving, or being the styles and especially the fashions of the past : fashionably nostalgic or old-fashioned a retro look



Definition of retro- (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : backward : back retro-rocket
2 : situated behind retroperitoneal

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Other Words from retro


retro noun

Examples of retro in a Sentence


the retro look in fashion retro fashions that seek to capture the lost glamour of Hollywood in the 1930s

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This is a woman who shaved her whole head for her role in Mad Max: Fury Road, after all, and has rocked every length of hair since, from short pixies to lobs to loose retro waves fit for a 1940s Hollywood starlet. Rachel Lubitz,, "Charlize Theron Just Brought Back Her Iconic Pixie — & It Looks Amazing," 30 June 2019 Since retro polka dots have been revived, take this lively, black-and-white blouse out on the town. Niki Mcgloster, Essence, "We Found Your Next Head-Turning All White Party Ensemble," 28 June 2019 David Lynch introduced more modern technology to the retro world of Twin Peaks, then just kept on going, tilting into the realm of science fiction with his super-advanced crime-labs and stealth communication devices. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The pros and cons of endless TV revivals," 27 June 2019 LaCroix, with its retro label and unique flavors, became an unlikely leader in the seltzer market. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "LaCroix slashed prices to stop its sales slump. Now it faces a new problem," 27 June 2019 The past few years have seen the return of bell bottoms and round sunglasses—so why not throw a retro decor fixture back in the mix? Tainaya Nash, House Beautiful, "Suncatchers Are Making a Comeback," 27 June 2019 The three-martini lunch lives on at this cheeky, retro-style diner in Walker’s Point. Lori Rackl,, "Headed to Summerfest? Check out these new places to eat and drink in Milwaukee," 26 June 2019 Guests who stay here have lodging options, ranging from guest rooms to retro campers. Brittany Anas, The Know, "Stay in a former jail, drive-in theater or goat lodge when visiting Colorado’s most unique hotels," 24 June 2019 On top of that, the Eco Trail is a handsome sleeping bag, thanks to its retro seventies colors, styling, and sewn label. Will Egensteiner, Outside Online, "Our Favorite Camping Gear at Summer Outdoor Retailer," 19 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'retro.' 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 retro


1972, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for retro


French rétro, short for rétrospectif retrospective


Latin, from retro, from re- + -tro (as in intro within) — more at intro-

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Statistics for retro

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for retro

The first known use of retro was in 1972

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English Language Learners Definition of retro

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: looking like or relating to styles or fashions from the past



English Language Learners Definition of retro- (Entry 2 of 2)

: backward : back

More from Merriam-Webster on retro

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retro

Britannica English: Translation of retro for Arabic Speakers

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