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

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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 was her 2012 solo show at the Brooklyn Museum, which felt like a midcareer retrospective, no matter her youth at the time. New York Times, 13 Oct. 2021 Now in her eighth decade as a jewelry designer, Cooke is being honored with a retrospective exhibit at the Walters Art Museum, the first solo show of her career. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, 13 Oct. 2021 This grandly retrospective novel warns of the political consequences of failures of personal insight. The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2021 The Shanghai retrospective charts the evolution of that style, from portraits with bulging cheeks and lidless eyes; to smudged, spectral forms in neutral tones; to frenetic, colorful facial features. CNN, 30 Sep. 2021 Armisen previously helped Mould unbox his retrospective set Distortion, which features the 18 studio albums Mould recorded as a solo artist and as the frontman of Sugar, plus four live albums, and two albums of rarities and collaborations. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 29 Sep. 2021 To honor the Thierry Mugler, Couturissime retrospective at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Cardi B arrived at the museum in a classic from the Mugler archives. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 29 Sep. 2021 While live facial recognition - itself extremely controversial - compares live images with those on a specific watchlist, retrospective facial recognition allows police to check against a far broader list. Emma Woollacott, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 Spike Lee, Pedro Almodovar, and, in the first significant and extensive retrospective outside of his native Japan, animation legend Hayao Miyazaki. Scott Huver, PEOPLE.com, 23 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On top of all this, Anderson had philosophical qualms about a retrospective. New York Times, 6 Oct. 2021 Now 91, the American artist is the subject of a mammoth joint retrospective, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, including more than 500 works from almost seven decades of artistic production. Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2021 Very few artists, as Mason and I discussed, lend themselves to a museum retrospective. Steve Baltin, Forbes, 12 Sep. 2021 So did other family members, only to be killed years later in a suicide bombing that wasn’t covered on CNN and certainly won’t be part of a 9/11 retrospective. Los Angeles Times, 3 Sep. 2021 The Staatliche Kunsthalle in Baden-Baden, Germany, mounted another retrospective in 1994. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Aug. 2021 This vast retrospective, in two parts, opens Sept. 29 and runs through Feb. 13 at two museums. New York Times, 23 Sep. 2021 The career retrospective runs through Oct. 3 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. BostonGlobe.com, 12 Aug. 2021 For explosive relief, head just down the hall at the Met to the concurrent, huge retrospective of the bohemian demiurge Alice Neel. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for retrospective

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The first known use of retrospective was in 1664

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Dictionary Entries Near retrospective

retrospection

retrospective

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Retrospective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retrospective. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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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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