retrospective

adjective
ret·​ro·​spec·​tive | \ ˌre-trə-ˈspek-tiv How to pronounce retrospective (audio) \

Definition of retrospective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : of, relating to, or given to retrospection
(2) : based on memory a retrospective report
b : being a retrospective a retrospective exhibition
2 : affecting things past : retroactive retrospective laws
3 : relating to or being a study (as of a disease) that starts with the present condition of a population of individuals and collects data about their past history to explain their present condition

retrospective

noun

Definition of retrospective (Entry 2 of 2)

: a generally comprehensive exhibition, compilation, or performance of the work of an artist over a span of years broadly : review sense 7a a retrospective of 20th century haute couture

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Other Words from retrospective

Adjective

retrospectively adverb

Did You Know?

Adjective

Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again, wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his 1839 novel Hyperion. But these days the past is trendy, old-fashioned is hip, and "flea-market vogue" is not an oxymoron. And of course, "retrospective" is as retro as it gets. A glance at the history of "retrospective" reveals that it traces back to the Latin retro- (meaning "back," "behind," or "backward") and "specere" (meaning "to look at"). Once you have "retrospective" behind you, you can also add its kin "retrospect" (which is used as a noun, an adjective, and a verb) and "retrospection" to your vocabulary, too. "Retrospective" can also be used as a noun, referring to an exhibition that "looks back" at artistic work created over a span of years.

Examples of retrospective in a Sentence

Adjective

They issued a retrospective report. a retrospective analysis of what went wrong The museum is having a retrospective exhibit of the artist's early works.

Noun

The museum is featuring a retrospective of Picasso's early works.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There will be dinner and dancing as well as a 50-year retrospective video, raffles, photos, and games. Maysoon Khan, BostonGlobe.com, "Outdoor concerts, walking tours, and a high school reunion," 10 July 2019 In this case, researchers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Sheffield, did a retrospective study of 3,343 STEMI patients who were treated between 2009 and July 2014. Jen Christensen, CNN, "Smoking sharply raises young women's risk of a serious type of heart attack," 24 June 2019 In a 2016 retrospective study published in Medicine, researchers looked at 85 ITP patients in a rheumatology department and found that 33 of those patients had lupus, 16 of them had Sjogren's Syndrome, and three had rheumatoid arthritis. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "What Even Causes ITP?," 21 June 2019 In January, the company reported a retrospective analysis of a previous clinical trial, suggesting that tipifarnib could be of benefit for pancreatic cancer. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Kura Oncology reports lymphoma success with cancer drug," 17 June 2019 But this may have been a retrospective justification of a messier train of thought. Quanta Magazine, "Mysterious Quantum Rule Reconstructed From Scratch," 13 Feb. 2019 Broadway star Chita Rivera, who's bringing her retrospective show to Milwaukee's Marcus Center June 14, had a familiar story rebound on her in a surprising way during a recent New York performance. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two-time Tony winner Chita Rivera packing 60-plus years of stories from Broadway for Milwaukee performance," 7 June 2019 The new documentary, Generation Wealth, newly available on Amazon, is part of a retrospective project that also includes an exhibition that opened at the International Center for Photography last fall, and a book. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "In Generation Wealth, Lauren Greenfield Captures the Lifestyles of the Wannabe-Rich and Not-So-Famous," 20 July 2018 Break out the body glitter, queue up the boy bands, and take a retrospective look at the best beauty moments in 2000s movie history below, along with tips on how to recreate each one in our modern day of makeup. Allure, "The Most Iconic Makeup and Hair Moments From Your Favorite Early 2000s Teen Movies," 4 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Another retrospective will be dedicated to German master Max Ophüls. Nick Vivarelli, chicagotribune.com, "Bill Murray to receive lifetime achievement award from Wes Anderson at Rome festival," 24 June 2019 Twelve Canadians will also be included among the 115 artists making up the millennium-spanning Hearts of Our People retrospective. Soraya Roberts, Longreads, "‘Women Created Our Worlds:’ Native Art Reclaims Its Power," 20 June 2019 The retrospective was organized by Dennis Lim and Tyler Wilson in partnership with the Locarno Film Festival, which hosted a Tourneur series last year. Kristin M. Jones, WSJ, "Where Truth Is Elusive and Chaos Is Near," 11 Dec. 2018 There was a golden opportunity to explore Arshile Gorky’s work in a powerful retrospective at the Ca’Pesaro before heading to the Abbazia di San Gregorio. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles's Whirlwind Tour of the 2019 Venice Biennale," 20 May 2019 Many are too young to have seen its last historical summing up in the U.S.—the Museum of Modern Art’s 1989 retrospective. Peter Plagens, WSJ, "‘Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again’ Review: Pop Art’s Tragic Prince," 7 Nov. 2018 There have been notable retrospectives in the past, but these had to make do with works on paper. Joseph Leo Koerner, The New York Review of Books, "In Love with Multiplicity," 23 May 2019 Rivkin quotes extensively from Peter Schjeldahl’s ambivalent contribution to Artforum’s issue marking the MoMA retrospective. Andrew Martin, Harper's magazine, "Not Mere Projection," 10 Mar. 2019 Even after last year's blockbuster retrospective at The Whitney (the first in the United States since 1989), there's still more to uncover about the late provocateur and society fixture, and plenty of important work to see. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Andy Warhol Fans Have Two New Must-See Shows," 25 Apr. 2019

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

Adjective

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Noun

1929, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for retrospective

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for retrospective

The first known use of retrospective was in 1664

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More Definitions for retrospective

retrospective

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of retrospective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to the past or something that happened in the past
: effective from a particular date in the past

retrospective

noun

English Language Learners Definition of retrospective (Entry 2 of 2)

: an exhibition of work that an artist has done in the past

retrospective

adjective
ret·​ro·​spec·​tive | \ -ˈspek-tiv How to pronounce retrospective (audio) \

Medical Definition of retrospective

1a : of, relating to, or given to introspection
b : relating to or being a study (as of a disease) that starts with the present condition of a population of individuals and collects data about their past history to explain their present condition — compare prospective
2 : based on memory

Other Words from retrospective

retrospectively adverb

retrospective

adjective
ret·​ro·​spec·​tive | \ ˈre-trə-ˌspek-tiv How to pronounce retrospective (audio) \

Legal Definition of retrospective

: affecting things past : retroactive specifically : of, relating to, or being a law that takes away or impairs vested rights, creates new duties or obligations, or attaches new disabilities with respect to acts and transactions completed before its enactment

Other Words from retrospective

retrospectively adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on retrospective

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with retrospective

Spanish Central: Translation of retrospective

Nglish: Translation of retrospective for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of retrospective for Arabic Speakers

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