retrospect

noun
ret·​ro·​spect | \ ˈre-trə-ˌspekt How to pronounce retrospect (audio) \

Definition of retrospect

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a review of or meditation on past events
2 archaic : reference to or regard of a precedent or authority
in retrospect
: in considering the past or a past event

retrospect

adjective

Definition of retrospect (Entry 2 of 3)

retrospect

verb
retrospected; retrospecting; retrospects

Definition of retrospect (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in retrospection
2 : to refer back : reflect

transitive verb

: to go back over in thought

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Examples of retrospect in a Sentence

Noun in retrospect, we should have saved more money for college
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fisher exploits our assumptions and uses them to tailor a novel whose twists and turns might be shocking but, in retrospect, are really not all that surprising. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Review: There is no shortage of twists and turns in Tarryn Fisher's 'The Wrong Family'," 30 Dec. 2020 But this is a case where coincidence only enhanced everything in retrospect. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "TV Technica 2020: Our favorite shows and binges in a year of living distantly," 26 Dec. 2020 The choice, like many in retrospect, seemed an obvious one. Los Angeles Times, "News Analysis: In filling Senate seat, Newsom made an easy thing seem hard," 24 Dec. 2020 In retrospect, the unrelenting minor-key clanging of the hollow pipes seems like some kind of omen. Angelica Florio, Vogue, "When Oregon’s Wildfires Swept Through My County, Mutual Aid Brought Us Together," 22 Dec. 2020 In retrospect, according to a senior administration official, Trump’s biggest political miscalculation was basing the task force in the White House. Anchorage Daily News, "The inside story of how Trump’s denial, mismanagement and magical thinking led to the pandemic’s dark winter," 20 Dec. 2020 In retrospect, over the years, Clooney has kept a very classic hairstyle. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "George Clooney Cuts His Own Hair Using This Vacuum Razor From The ’80s," 1 Dec. 2020 In retrospect, accepting more vaccine risk might well have been the right way overall to minimize the costs and pains inflicted on the public in the political crisis brought on by a new coronavirus. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Vaccines vs. Lockdowns," 15 Dec. 2020 In particular, the way our small decisions can have a large-scale impact that can be glimpsed only in retrospect. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Helder Guimarães peers into ‘The Future’ for more Zoom magic. The view is fuzzy," 13 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Pressure to raise money for research, the allure of unrestricted donations for novel ideas and the aura of star scholars may have contributed to decisions that in retrospect look tawdry. Washington Post, "Jeffrey Epstein, the academy and questions about male dominance in science," 17 Sep. 2019 In retrospect people hate Darvish, but at the time of the trade most Dodger fans were ecstatic. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers Dugout: They did realize the trade deadline was yesterday, right?," 1 Aug. 2019 Her political commentaries, though no doubt engrossing at their time of publication, seem in retrospect rather ragged and dog-eared, like the moldering magazines one finds in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. Danny Heitman, The Christian Science Monitor, "'See What Can Be Done' is a testament to the breadth of Lorrie Moore’s intellect," 2 Apr. 2018 In retrospect people hate Darvish, but at the time of the trade most Dodger fans were ecstatic. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers Dugout: They did realize the trade deadline was yesterday, right?," 1 Aug. 2019 Her political commentaries, though no doubt engrossing at their time of publication, seem in retrospect rather ragged and dog-eared, like the moldering magazines one finds in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. Danny Heitman, The Christian Science Monitor, "'See What Can Be Done' is a testament to the breadth of Lorrie Moore’s intellect," 2 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'retrospect.' 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 retrospect

Noun

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

1701, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1659, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for retrospect

Noun

probably from retro- + prospect

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Time Traveler for retrospect

Time Traveler

The first known use of retrospect was in 1601

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Statistics for retrospect

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Retrospect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retrospect. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for retrospect

retrospect

noun
ret·​ro·​spect | \ ˈre-trə-ˌspekt How to pronounce retrospect (audio) \

Kids Definition of retrospect

: a looking back on things past In retrospect, I made the right decision.

More from Merriam-Webster on retrospect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for retrospect

Britannica English: Translation of retrospect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on retrospect

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