Retrograde describes backwardness of one kind or another. If a country decided to go back to amputating the limbs of criminals, we might call that policy retrograde. A retrograde view of women might be one that sees them basically as housekeepers. Mars and Jupiter show retrograde (backward) motion at some stages of their orbits, though this is only because of the way we see them from the earth, not because of any real backward movement.
a retrograde policy that would leave more people poorer than they are now retrograde pedaling will engage the brakes on that bikeVerb
the Dark Ages, the period following the fall of the Roman Empire when Western civilization seriously retrograded
Recent Examples on the Web
Your year starts off slow and steady, similar to the last few months of 2022 as your ruling planet, Mars, is still retrograde when January begins.—Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, 26 Dec. 2022 But Venus will be retrograde during wedding season, so plan ahead!—ELLE, 1 Dec. 2022 If that seems retrograde or naïve today, well, the Philadelphia Orchestra suggested that attitude couldn’t be more timely.—Vulture, 9 Feb. 2022 For starters, lusty Mars, who’s been turning up the heat in your partnership realm since August 20, is now retrograde until January 12.—ELLE, 30 Nov. 2022 Or acknowledges the damage that can happen when the media insists on a retrograde definition of masculinity.—Sara Stewart, CNN, 10 Nov. 2022 In his stage persona, Mr. Gordon seemed to revel in capturing that era in musical amber — cultivating a retrograde sartorial style and image, performing in vintage sport coats or tank tops, and always sporting a tower of jet-black hair.—Terence Mcardle, Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2022 Mercury ends the retrograde journey on October 2 after moonwalking since September 9.—Lisa Stardust, refinery29.com, 27 Sep. 2022 This lunation loosely connects with the action planet Mars (which is currently in Gemini), aligns with revolutionary Uranus (which is retrograde in Taurus), and the karmic Nodes of Destiny that are traveling along the Taurus-Scorpio path.—Lisa Stardust, refinery29.com, 8 Sep. 2022
Venus, the Planet of Pleasure, goes retrograde this summer, from July 22 to September 3.—Narayana Montúfar, refinery29.com, 9 Jan. 2023 Mars goes retrograde from October 30 until January 13, giving you a window of over two months of focused practice.—Kirah Tabourn, Condé Nast Traveler, 26 Sep. 2022 Even the most dislikable, retrograde, and self-absorbed conductors understand that their mission is to cajole great music out of talented colleagues, the ones who actually do all the blowing and bowing.—Justin Davidson, Vulture, 11 Oct. 2022 But many retrograde African leaders– including 10 who attended in 2014—will soon touch down in Washington, walk the red carpet at the White House, and smile for photographs that will assuredly be used for propaganda purposes back home.—Jeffrey Smith, Time, 13 Dec. 2022 With action planet Mars now retrograde in YOUR sign from October 30 until January 12, conserving your energy is imperative for the rest of the year.—ELLE, 30 Nov. 2022 The primal Sun in Sagittarius busies itself with warrior Mars, currently retrograde in Gemini, leaving us scrambling to handle everything on our plates.—Chicago Tribune, 7 Dec. 2022 Mars takes roughly two Earth years to make its way around the sun and therefore goes retrograde every two years, as well.—Emily Newhouse, Allure, 6 Dec. 2022 Mars, now retrograde, is adding stress to your relationship realm.—ELLE, 30 Nov. 2022 See More
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'retrograde.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Middle English, from Latin retrogradus, from retrogradi
Latin retrogradi, from retro- + gradi to go — more at grade entry 1