ret·​ro·​spec·​tion | \ ˌre-trə-ˈspek-shən How to pronounce retrospection (audio) \

Definition of retrospection

: the act or process or an instance of surveying the past

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Examples of retrospection in a Sentence

This is a time of retrospection for many people. the president is confident that future retrospections will cast his actions in a more favorable light
Recent Examples on the Web But the Obama years loom particularly large across the Pacific region—and the retrospection is not all rosy. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, "Barack Obama’s Legacy Abroad Looms Over Joe Biden," 17 Nov. 2020 David Sedaris, one of the great American humorists, has reached the age of retrospection. Heller Mcalpin, The Christian Science Monitor, "Humorist David Sedaris delivers his choicest material in ‘The Best of Me’," 3 Nov. 2020 Armchair general managers love the what-ifs created, and in some cases, the regrets realized in retrospection. Dallas News, "Is Trae Young buying Luka-mania? Hawks guard says it’s ‘hard to really judge’ who won the trade for Doncic," 18 Jan. 2020 But this is a retrospective about retrospection, and the situation is not without a certain resonance. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, "The Master of Unknowing," 25 Apr. 2020 There is an unevenness to the novel’s texture and tone, deriving in part from a failure to employ retrospection effectively to either heighten tension or illuminate the characters’ actions and motivations. Deepa Anappara, New York Times, "His Nation in Turmoil, One Boy Finds Refuge and Adventure in Friendship," 17 Mar. 2020 Honorable Mentions Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, anchored by a career-best Antonio Banderas, was a remarkable piece of retrospection from a cinematic master that inspired me to revisit many of his past works. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The 10 Best Films of 2019," 5 Dec. 2019 Considering the full, bloody scope of some of his greatest works, The Irishman is a work of real retrospection. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Martin Scorsese’s Epic Funeral for the Gangster Genre," 1 Nov. 2019 The line brings us back to the book’s center, a space of retrospection. Maya Phillips, The New Yorker, "Joy Harjo, the Poet of American Memory," 29 Aug. 2019

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

1624, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for retrospection

Time Traveler

The first known use of retrospection was in 1624

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Cite this Entry

“Retrospection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of retrospection

formal : the act of thinking about the past or something that happened in the past

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Britannica English: Translation of retrospection for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about retrospection

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