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during World War II, when weapons technology was advancing at an intense pace and planes and ships were becoming outdated even before their construction was complete, and the only solution was to retrofit the completed craft with the brand-new technology.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 Target is retrofitting areas inside a couple dozen of its stores in Dallas-Fort Worth as part of its grocery curbside service. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Retail Therapy: Target invests in grocery curbside, spotlight’s on Southlake and Nordstrom takes Trunk Club in-house," 13 Feb. 2020 Meanwhile, 24 general hospitals in the city are being retrofitted to admit patients with respiratory infectious diseases. National Geographic, "‘I can’t wait to hold my kids again’: Life inside Wuhan’s quarantine," 6 Feb. 2020 Elsewhere, communities have been retrofitted to adapt to its senior population, with modifications to parks, new walking paths and bus services to ensure accessibility. Robert Gebeloff, New York Times, "The Graying of the American Economy Is on Display in Iowa," 3 Feb. 2020 Engineers have been retrofitting those canals with pumps to get water out of them even during high tides. Matt Simon, Wired, "Not to Ruin the Super Bowl, But the Sea Is Consuming Miami," 31 Jan. 2020 The phone's exterior was retrofitted with 24-karat gold and 137 diamonds by specialty phone accessories maker Caviar. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Apple’s 2020 Looks Bright, Analysts Say. Here’s Why," 28 Dec. 2019 Should sprinklers have been retrofitted at some time after construction, perhaps when the code was amended to require them in subsequent construction? Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Fatal high-rise fire raises wider cost and benefit questions," 22 Dec. 2019 Harbour Air and MagniX retrofitted a classic, reliable aircraft with a cutting-edge electric powertrain. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "First All-Electric Plane Flies for Just About 15 Minutes," 12 Dec. 2019 About 800 streetlights have been retrofitted with LED bulbs. NBC News, "City of LED lights: How Carmel, Indiana, and other U.S. cities are trying to live up to the Paris Agreement," 11 Dec. 2019

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

Time Traveler for retrofit

Time Traveler

The first known use of retrofit was in 1949

See more words from the same year

Statistics for retrofit

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Retrofit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for retrofit


How to pronounce retrofit (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retrofit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!