ret·​ro·​gress | \ ˌre-trə-ˈgres How to pronounce retrogress (audio) \
retrogressed; retrogressing; retrogresses

Definition of retrogress

intransitive verb

: to move backward : revert

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Synonyms & Antonyms for retrogress


regress, return, revert


advance, develop, evolve, progress

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Did You Know?

As you might guess, retrogress is the opposite of progress. Retrogression is usually an undesirable decline from a higher or advanced level. So, for instance, in difficult social situations an adolescent can retrogress to a childish level of maturity. And under the extreme conditions of total war, a whole society may retrogress to a primitive state. The increasing number of poor or homeless people has been seen as evidence of modern social retrogression, and the rise of loud, name-calling TV and radio personalities strikes many people as a sign of political retrogression.

Examples of retrogress in a Sentence

the quality of research at the university lab has begun to retrogress since the massive budget cuts went into effect

Recent Examples on the Web

After the 1960s, after the switch in—the shift in the strategy to gaining political clout, a lot of those trends stalled, slowed, even retrogressed. WSJ, "Holding Ranks on Health Care," 3 July 2017

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

First Known Use of retrogress

1812, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for retrogress

Latin retrogressus, past participle of retrogradi

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Time Traveler for retrogress

The first known use of retrogress was in 1812

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More from Merriam-Webster on retrogress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with retrogress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retrogress

Comments on retrogress

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


to be made up of

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