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during World War II, when weapons technology was advancing at an intense pace and planes and ships were becoming outdated even before their construction was complete, and the only solution was to retrofit the completed craft with the brand-new technology.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

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 That’s when a state law was passed requiring them to inventory old masonry buildings and consider ways to get owners to retrofit them. John Wilkens,, "Back story: Shoring up old masonry buildings for earthquakes," 13 May 2018 In reality, Melmoth was a variation of the Wandering Jew myth that was created for the 1820 gothic novel Melmoth the Wanderer, but Perry has retrofitted a convincing Biblical backstory onto her version. Constance Grady, Vox, "Melmoth, from the author of The Essex Serpent, is a lurid novel of sin and redemption," 22 Oct. 2018 The eCOPO is far from the first muscle car that’s been retrofitted with electric power. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Chevy’s new electric Camaro is the near future of EV drag racing," 4 Nov. 2018 The latter option was deemed to be too expensive by Trump and other real estate developers, who estimated retrofitting structures to add sprinklers would cost up to $4 per square foot. Kyle Swenson,, "Trump once lobbied against fire sprinklers in existing New York high-rises, including Trump Tower," 9 Apr. 2018 The San Francisco startup, which GM bought two years ago and has made the center of its self-driving efforts, originally worked to retrofit existing cars to be autonomous. Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, "GM, Cruise ready self-driving car with no steering wheel or brake pedals," 11 Jan. 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.

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First Known Use of retrofit

1949, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for retrofit

Last Updated

14 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for retrofit

The first known use of retrofit was in 1949

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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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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).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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