ret·​ro·​dict | \ ˌre-trə-ˈdikt How to pronounce retrodict (audio) \
retrodicted; retrodicting; retrodicts

Definition of retrodict

transitive verb

: to utilize present information or ideas to infer or explain (a past event or state of affairs)

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Other Words from retrodict

retrodiction \ ˌre-​trə-​ˈdik-​shən How to pronounce retrodict (audio) \ noun
retrodictive \ ˌre-​trə-​ˈdik-​tiv How to pronounce retrodict (audio) \ adjective

Did you know?

We predict that you will guess the correct origins of retrodict, and chances are we will not contradict you. English speakers had started using predict by at least the early 17th century; it's a word formed by combining prae- (meaning "before") and dicere (meaning "to say"). Since the rough translation of predict is "to say before," it's no surprise that when people in the 1950s wanted a word for predicting the past, they created it by combining the prefix for "backward" (retro-) with the -dict of predict. Other dicere descendants in English include contradict, benediction, dictate, diction, and dictionary.

First Known Use of retrodict

1940, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for retrodict

retro- + predict

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Time Traveler for retrodict

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The first known use of retrodict was in 1940

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Cite this Entry

“Retrodict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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