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

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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during World War II, when weapons technology was advancing at an intense pace and planes and ships were becoming outdated even before their construction was complete, and the only solution was to retrofit the completed craft with the brand-new technology.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 The Green New Deal for Public Housing plan, as explained by the Climate + Community Project (CCP) that led research for the bill, proposes between $119 and $172 billion worth of grants to repair and retrofit public housing in the U.S. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "The Big Difference Between a Green New Deal and Biden’s Climate Agenda," 20 Apr. 2021 But there are some spices that keep cropping up when trying to retrofit the recipe. Allspice. Kathrine Nero, The Enquirer, "'About Us' with Kathrine Nero: Chocolate in the chili? Well, we asked.," 18 Apr. 2021 Then-President Donald Trump struck a $3.9 billion deal with Boeing in 2018 to acquire and retrofit two jets into the flying fortresses that have long served U.S. presidents. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Boeing sues Fort Worth supplier over delays in Air Force One replacements," 9 Apr. 2021 But several smaller jets do recirculate passenger exhalations, leaving airlines without HEPA filtration on some airplanes scrambling to retrofit their fleets. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "How to fly safely a year into the pandemic," 9 Apr. 2021 In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded three contracts, including one to Emergent to retrofit and expand its Baltimore site. New York Times, "U.S. Bet Big on Covid Vaccine Manufacturer Even as Problems Mounted," 6 Apr. 2021 The proposal includes $40 billion to retrofit existing public housing to address energy efficiency as part of a $213 billion investment to create more affordable housing options. Luis Melgar, WSJ, "Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Visualized: How the $2.3 Trillion Would Be Allocated," 1 Apr. 2021 For example, the proposal calls for $400 billion for housing for the elderly and disabled, more than $200 billion to upgrade public housing, low-income homes and $100 billion to retrofit schools. Washington Post, "5 key takeaways from Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan," 31 Mar. 2021 Unfortunately for buyers, even once the chips are available, GM will not be able to retrofit the engines with the missing fuel management module. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Some GM truck owners will pay more at the pump because of a computer chip shortage," 15 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of retrofit

1949, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for retrofit

Time Traveler

The first known use of retrofit was in 1949

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Statistics for retrofit

Last Updated

22 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Retrofit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retrofit

Nglish: Translation of retrofit for Spanish Speakers

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