retrodict

verb
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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About retrodict

Time Traveler for retrodict

Time Traveler

The first known use of retrodict was in 1940

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About retrodict

Statistics for retrodict

Cite this Entry

“Retrodict.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retrodict. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!