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 retroactive (audio) \ noun

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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 Pay increases will be retroactive to June, when the previous contract expired, and all of the changes go into effect immediately. Rafael Guerrero, chicagotribune.com, 8 Sep. 2021 That’s left wealthy taxpayers scrambling to do proactive planning, especially to avoid a possible doubling of the top capital gains tax rate to 39.6%, up from 20%, which could be retroactive to the date legislation is introduced. Ashlea Ebeling, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 Then-President Donald Trump made available an extra $300 in weekly benefits through an executive order, which was retroactive to August 2020 and lasted a few months. Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press, 26 Aug. 2021 Rodón went on the IL on Aug. 11 (retroactive to Aug. 8) and returned Aug. 26 against Toronto. Lamond Pope, chicagotribune.com, 5 Sep. 2021 The move with Bote was made retroactive to Thursday. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Aug. 2021 Like the income tax cut in Montana, the tax relief in Idaho is made retroactive to the first day of 2021. Patrick Gleason, Forbes, 4 July 2021 Hernandez, on the 60-day IL retroactive to April 4, can be activated as early as Thursday. ... John Wawrow, ajc, 2 June 2021 The order, retroactive to 4 p.m. Friday, aligns Ohio with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said last week that vaccinated people can return to many of their pre-pandemic activities. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 19 May 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near retroactive

retroaction

retroactive

retroactive inhibition

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Statistics for retroactive

Last Updated

21 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Retroactive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retroactive. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for retroactive

retroactive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of retroactive

: 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 retroactive (audio) \ noun

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