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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from retro


retro noun

Examples of retro in a Sentence

Adjective 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 Sega Genesis Mini retro mini console for $49.99 at GameStop (normally $60). Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Take $30 off a new Amazon Kindle, our recommended budget ebook reader," 26 May 2020 But Peterson’s images feel both wholly of this pandemic and wholly retro, as if at any moment servers on roller skates might hand out milkshakes and the cars might start growing fins. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "Honk Twice for Hallelujah: What Church Looks Like in the Parking Lot," 18 Apr. 2020 What could be more retro than seeking out the views of county chairmen, those potbellied, cigar-smoking relics of the political past? Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The Political Media’s Blurred Reality," 12 Mar. 2020 The show wasn’t completely retro; both scenery and staging had a modern, high-tech sheen. Matthew Guerrieri, Washington Post, "‘Samson and Delilah’ has old-school opera style and strengths," 2 Mar. 2020 Running the ball as much as the 49ers did is a bit retro, but Shanahan’s creative concepts weren’t being used by Vince Lombardi. Eric Branch,, "49ers a model NFL team? Others try to figure out how they did it," 26 Feb. 2020 Four ShowBiz Cinema theaters in the Houston area and in Oklahoma will reopen on May 18 with retro film favorites and reduced pricing. Dallas News, "ShowBiz Cinemas will reopen select Texas and Oklahoma theaters in mid-May," 1 May 2020 Resident Evil 2 and 3 traded the blocky retro graphics of the originals for a more cinematic approach, offering, as a result, a newfound focus on suspense and jump-scares. Nick Romano,, "Final Fantasy VII bosses on transcending the videogame remake trend," 23 Apr. 2020 Smeg Toaster Beloved for its retro designs, Smeg’s high-end kitchen appliances are rarely on sale. Summer Cartwright, Better Homes & Gardens, "Deal Alert! Nordstrom Is Having a Massive Kitchen Sale with Items Up to 60% Off," 10 Apr. 2020

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.

See More

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-

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about retro

Time Traveler for retro

Time Traveler

The first known use of retro was in 1972

See more words from the same year

Statistics for retro

Last Updated

4 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Retro.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for retro


How to pronounce retro- (audio)

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

Comments on retro

What made you want to look up retro? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!