ret·​ro·​cede | \ ˌre-trō-ˈsēd How to pronounce retrocede (audio) \
retroceded; retroceding

Definition of retrocede

intransitive verb

: to go back : recede

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from retrocede

retrocession \ ˌre-​trō-​ˈse-​shən How to pronounce retrocede (audio) \ noun

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.

Examples of retrocede in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The South Dakota congressional delegation largely shares his view: Rep. Dusty Johnson (R) filed a bill last month to retrocede the District to Maryland. Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'retrocede.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of retrocede

1638, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for retrocede

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

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The first known use of retrocede was in 1638

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Cite this Entry

“Retrocede.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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