retroactive

adjective
ret·​ro·​ac·​tive | \ ˌre-trō-ˈak-tiv How to pronounce retroactive (audio) \

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

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Other Words from retroactive

retroactively adverb
retroactivity \ ˌre-​trō-​ˌak-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce retroactivity (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

We normally think of time as constantly moving forward. Since retroactive seems to defy time's forward movement, retroactive taxes, laws, and regulations are often seen as particularly obnoxious and unfair. But nobody ever objects to receiving a retroactive raise at work. When we judge historical people and events in terms of present-day morality and attitudes, our retroactive judgments may indicate that we're too impressed with ourselves and ignorant of history.

Examples of retroactive in a Sentence

They all received a retroactive pay raise. The new tax will be retroactive to January 1.
Recent Examples on the Web At the urging of the likes of Senator Marco Rubio, CFIUS has opened a retroactive investigation into ByteDance’s acquisition of Muscial.ly, which could force its disinvestment. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, "Why America Is Afraid of TikTok," 30 July 2020 Eligible individuals will receive retroactive payments of the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefits, in addition to their state benefits, based on their determined date of eligibility. Lance Lambert, Fortune, "When does the extra $600 in federal unemployment end? What to know before it expires," 29 June 2020 Money said the hazard pay will be retroactive from March 1 and is currently approved through April 30, 2020. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "$4.1 million for pandemic hazard pay for Jefferson Co. deputies," 10 July 2020 The law isn't retroactive, which means that anything said or done before July 1, 2020, won't be taken into account. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Hong Kong was once a home for critics of Beijing. Now they might not even be safe at the airport," 3 July 2020 Some of the weekly payout is retroactive and includes people getting paid for multiple weeks. Ryan Randazzo, The Arizona Republic, "Unemployment fraud a growing issue in Arizona, slowing payments to those in need," 1 July 2020 Also Wednesday, the council unanimously approved a four-year contract, retroactive from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2023, for emergency dispatchers under the Bureau of Emergency Communications that includes wage increases and overtime provisions. oregonlive, "Portland City Council approves 1-year extension of police union contract," 1 July 2020 Representatives, Tien said, were told that the law would not be retroactive and that most national security cases would be heard by a jury or at least three judges. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "China’s security law sends chill through Hong Kong, 23 years after handover," 30 June 2020 The court also said Cantil-Sakauye’s March 30 order was not retroactive and that Bullock should have gotten a hearing within 15 days of his arraignment. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Preliminary court hearings must go on, despite impact of coronavirus pandemic," 25 June 2020

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

1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for retroactive

French rétroactif, from Latin retroactus, past participle of retroagere to drive back, reverse, from retro- + agere to drive — more at agent

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Time Traveler for retroactive

Time Traveler

The first known use of retroactive was in 1611

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Statistics for retroactive

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Retroactive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retroactive. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for retroactive

retroactive

adjective
How to pronounce retroactive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of retroactive

formal : effective from a particular date in the past

retroactive

adjective
ret·​ro·​ac·​tive | \ ˌre-trō-ˈak-tiv How to pronounce retroactive (audio) \

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

retroactive

adjective
ret·​ro·​ac·​tive | \ ˌre-trō-ˈak-tiv How to pronounce retroactive (audio) \

Legal 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 a retroactive tax — see also ex post facto law

Other Words from retroactive

retroactively adverb
retroactivity \ -​ak-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce retroactivity (audio) \ noun

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Comments on retroactive

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