verb ret·ro·cede \ˌre-trō-ˈsēd\

Definition of retrocede




  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to go back :  recede

  3. transitive verb
  4. [French rétrocéder, from Medieval Latin retrocedere, from Latin retro- + cedere to cede] :  to cede back retrocede a territory


play \-ˈse-shən\ noun

retrocede was our Word of the Day on 08/08/2011. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Retrocede was formed by combining the prefix retro-, meaning "back" or "backward," with the Latin verb cedere, meaning "to go." It was borrowed into English in the mid-17th century with a very similar meaning. "Retrocede" has a bit of a twist, however, because "cedere" can also mean "cede" ("to yield or assign"); the "cede back" meaning of "retrocede" traces back through French and Medieval Latin to this other meaning of "cedere." Other descendants of "cedere" include "accede," "concede," "intercede," "precede," "recede," "secede," and even "cede" itself.

Origin and Etymology of retrocede

Latin retrocedere, from retro- + cedere to go, cede

First Known Use: 1638

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to criticize severely

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