ret·​ro·​fit | \ ˈre-trō-ˌfit How to pronounce retrofit (audio) , ˌre-trō-ˈfit\
retrofitted or retrofit; retrofitting; retrofits

Definition of retrofit

transitive verb

1 : to furnish (something, such as a computer, airplane, or building) with new or modified parts or equipment not available or considered necessary at the time of manufacture
2 : to install (new or modified parts or equipment) in something previously manufactured or constructed
3 : to adapt to a new purpose or need : modify retrofit the story for a new audience

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from retrofit

retrofit \ ˈre-​trō-​ˌfit \ noun

Did You Know?

The concept of retrofitting became an urgent necessity during World War II, when weapons technology was advancing at an intense pace and planes and ships were becoming outdated even before their construction was complete, and the only solution was to retrofit the completed craft with the brand-new technology. Retrofitting was revived on a massive scale during the energy crisis of the 1970s, when new features were added to millions of old houses to make them more energy-efficient. Retrofitting is thus different from merely renovating, which may not involve any new technology at all.

Examples of retrofit in a Sentence

The factory has been retrofitted to meet the new safety regulations. We can retrofit your car with the new fuel system.

Recent Examples on the Web

State lawmaker Jim Wood tried to bridge this gap by proposing a bill that would provide $1 billion in low-interest loans to help people rebuild and retrofit with fires in mind. Katy Steinmetz/ukiah, Time, "California Is Stepping Up Fire Prevention Efforts—But It Hasn't Fixed One of the Biggest Problems," 2 July 2019 Since then, Apple’s autonomous test cars have consisted of standard cars retrofitted with self-driving hardware. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Apple hires designer Andrew Kim away from Tesla," 17 Dec. 2018 But Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said the spot and space allow the county to forge something to suit people’s needs instead of trying to retrofit an old office building that doesn’t have enough bathrooms or other crucial amenities., "Multnomah County hopes to create alternative to jail, ERs for mentally ill homeless people," 10 June 2019 The statement listed obstacles to a blanket order to retrofit, such as cost and lack of adequate water supply in many buildings to operate a sprinkler system. William Neuman, New York Times, "Trump Tower Smoke Sensors Alerted Firefighters to Deadly Blaze," 9 Apr. 2018 The first planes to get this option, in 2020, will be Airbus’s A330s—airlines will be able to have their jets retrofitted with the modules, or buy new aircraft with them in place. David Meyer, Fortune, "Airbus Has a Solution to 17-Hour Flight Hell: Beds in the Cargo Hold," 11 Apr. 2018 According to Curbed, the Climate Mobilization Act’s most ambitious provision is to require any buildings of more than 25,000 square feet to retrofit things like windows and insulation in order to increase energy efficiency. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "New York City Passed Its Own Green New Deal–Like Legislation," 19 Apr. 2019 All told, the city estimates as much as $4 billion could be spent on retrofitting buildings. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "New York City Passed Its Own Green New Deal–Like Legislation," 19 Apr. 2019 Meanwhile, The Handmaid’s Tale was largely effective at retrofitting itself into a twisted family drama in its second season, pivoting around the interactions of characters within the Waterford house. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Why the era of Peak TV is the era of the disappointing second season," 1 Aug. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of retrofit

1949, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about retrofit

Statistics for retrofit

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for retrofit

The first known use of retrofit was in 1949

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for retrofit



English Language Learners Definition of retrofit

: to provide (something) with new parts that were not available when it was originally built

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on retrofit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with retrofit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retrofit

Nglish: Translation of retrofit for Spanish Speakers

Comments on retrofit

What made you want to look up retrofit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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