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 The French government says the agreement, which is retroactive to January, will save €1.5 million this year. Tania Rabesandratana, Science | AAAS, "Elsevier deal with France disappoints open-access advocates," 13 Dec. 2019 The Blackhawks recalled forward Anton Wedin from Rockford on Wednesday and moved Drake Caggiula from injured reserve to long-term injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 10. Jimmy Greenfield, chicagotribune.com, "Blackhawks recall Anton Wedin from Rockford and move Drake Caggiula to long-term injured reserve," 26 Nov. 2019 Patrik Nemeth, another penalty killer, was placed on IR retroactive to Nov. 10 on Wednesday to make room to recall veteran defenseman Jonathan Ericsson from the minors. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings look lottery-bound after 20 games. Here's why:," 14 Nov. 2019 Five religious and community activists filed suit in Bexar County district court against the city and Paradies Lagardère over the Chick-fil-A matter under the new state law — which didn’t take effect till Sept. 1 and isn’t retroactive. Randy Diamond, ExpressNews.com, "One possible result of FAA probe: Chick-fil-A could open at San Antonio International," 25 Oct. 2019 But tenant groups wanted the moratorium retroactive to March, when the state bill was first unveiled to the public. Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times, "New L.A. ordinance slaps moratorium on evictions ahead of Jan. 1," 22 Oct. 2019 The recusals are generally effective for two years and retroactive to the date of his mid-July appointment. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trump’s land boss pledges to steer clear of ex-clients," 25 Sep. 2019 Under the contract, retroactive to 2018 and effective through June 2020, members of the Police Management Assn. also will see changes in medical benefits. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach council rejects disputed Ellis Avenue residential-commercial project," 4 Sep. 2019 Phegley was placed on the IL July 31, retroactive to July 29, with a left thumb contusion on his catching hand. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, "Oakland A’s welcome back one catcher, DFA another," 16 Aug. 2019

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

4 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Retroactive.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retroactively. Accessed 17 January 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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More from Merriam-Webster on retroactive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with retroactive

Spanish Central: Translation of retroactive

Nglish: Translation of retroactive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of retroactive for Arabic Speakers

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