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 But, what responsible board changes a policy and makes it retroactive? Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: More needed to fight hazing; Keep LaRue’s name on library; Loud college games too much for animals (11/13/19," 13 Nov. 2019 Crowder said sentencing guidelines that took effect in 2013 should be made retroactive because offenders convicted earlier have far longer prison terms. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "No easy, free fixes for Alabama prisons, study group told," 3 Oct. 2019 Gonzales, 26, went on the 10-day DL on Aug. 27 (retroactive to Aug. 24) with a cervical (neck) muscle strain. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Mariners activate Marco Gonzales from the disabled list, recall relievers Matt Festa and Nick Rumbelow," 11 Sep. 2018 But the university has rehired both women and agreed to back pay and retroactive benefits totaling about $203,000 for Ms. Taaffe and $237,000 for Ms. Moon. Paula Span, New York Times, "He Called Older Employees ‘Dead Wood.’ Two Sued for Age Discrimination.," 6 July 2018 In early 2019, Buividas, Scheidt and the rest of the PSPRS board approved a retroactive raise for Smout that boosted his annual pay to a quarter million dollars. Craig Harris, azcentral, "Police retiree group: PSPRS chairman, vice chairman should resign after Republic report," 23 Jan. 2020 To make space on the roster, the Stars placed Radek Faksa on IR retroactive to Jan. 11 with an upper-body injury. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "‘This is the day I’ve looked forward to’: Stephen Johns to make NHL return after 22-month absence," 18 Jan. 2020 The proposed salary increase would provide a retroactive 2% pay raise for existing Wisconsin State Patrol employees and increase starting pay by 23% — a raise troopers say is needed to improve the patrol's ability to recruit. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lawmakers increase pay for UW, state employees by 2% while raises for state troopers are put off," 18 Dec. 2019 Sandoval was placed on the 10-day injured list on Aug. 14, retroactive to Aug. 11, with right elbow inflammation. Jenna West, SI.com, "Pablo Sandoval to Undergo Tommy John Surgery in First Week of September," 24 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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Retroactive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retroactivity?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=r&file=retroa03. Accessed 21 Feb. 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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