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

The result is a three-city affair: a single-day event in Cleveland celebrating the opening of a retrospective exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and weekend shows in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Mountain View, California. Hilary George-parkin, Vox, "How Warped Tour led the consumerist music festival revolution," 23 July 2019 Yet there’s something curious, even paradoxical, about Kiarostami’s career, and the retrospective’s program offers a rare opportunity to probe its mysteries. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Paradox at the Heart of Abbas Kiarostami’s Early Films," 26 July 2019 However, in the same game Kent would disgrace himself by slapping Celtic captain Scott Brown, receiving a retrospective two match ban in the process. SI.com, "Ryan Kent: 5 Things to Know About Liverpool Star Wanted By Rangers Boss Steven Gerrard," 12 July 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2009, the museum at FIT staged a solo retrospective of her work. Vanessa Friedman, BostonGlobe.com, "Isabel Toledo, who designed Michelle Obama’s inaugural outfit, dies at 59," 27 Aug. 2019 His work is so iconic that a hip NYC theater hosted a retrospective of his films this summer; in April, Glasgow threw a KeanuCon festival. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "An Ode to Keanu Reeves, the One Man in Hollywood We Can All Agree On," 20 Aug. 2019 He was celebrated in major North American museum shows, including a 2011 retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and a 1993 survey of Latin American art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Karen Rosenberg, New York Times, "Carlos Cruz-Diez, Whose Art Made Color Move, Is Dead at 95," 2 Aug. 2019 Chrissy Teigen will join Cohen for a retrospective of show high and low lights. Hal Boedeker, orlandosentinel.com, "Andy Cohen celebrates 10 years in late night," 26 June 2019 Those projects have included a comprehensive and well-regarded Tony DeLap retrospective from February to May 2018. Richard Chang, latimes.com, "New Laguna Art Museum exhibits include John Baldessari lithographs, Gwyn Murrill’s animal sculptures and prints by Mexican American artists," 20 June 2019 Janus’s ambitious new traveling retrospective of Kiarostami’s films—including long-unavailable early work, and a number of new restorations from mk2 and the Criterion Collection—is a rare chance to watch that style evolve. Max Nelson, Harper's magazine, "The All-Seeing Eye," 10 June 2019 Special features include a documentary retrospective of the stars. Mick Lasalle, San Francisco Chronicle, "Blu-ray review: ‘Holiday Inn’," 28 Feb. 2018 This exhibition is one of a six-part retrospective — staged at galleries around L.A. and San Francisco — that will examine the legacy of San Francisco’s Dilexi Gallery, a space where art intersected with the magical. Los Angeles Times, "Datebook: A group show marks five years of exhibitions at Park View / Paul Soto," 1 Aug. 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

27 Aug 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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