retrospective

adjective
ret·ro·spec·tive | \ˌre-trə-ˈspek-tiv \

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

On July 6, Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney, a retrospective homage to Whitney Houston, opened to a solid $1.2 million in limited release. David Sims, The Atlantic, "What’s Driving Documentaries to Box-Office Success?," 11 July 2018 UC Davis oncologist David Gandara reported a retrospective analysis of seven different trials of the checkpoint inhibitor Tecentriq in lung and bladder cancer, melanoma, and other tumors. Ken Garber, Science | AAAS, "Mutation-counting blood test could predict if cutting-edge immunotherapies can beat a cancer," 27 June 2018 There have been several calls since for Noble to face retrospective punishment for his actions after both escaped with only a yellow card from referee Jon Moss. SI.com, "Mark Noble Responds to Paul Pogba Incident on Twitter After Pairing's Clash in Stalemate," 11 May 2018 Brown’s retrospective opinion based upon tests assessing [Sirhan’s] mental condition forty years after the fact are of negligible weight. Tom Jackman, Washington Post, "The assassination of Bobby Kennedy: Was Sirhan Sirhan hypnotized to be the fall guy?," 4 June 2018 The key date: Nov. 7, 2018, when the issue becomes a prospective choice, not a retrospective justification. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Kellyanne Conway was dead wrong when she tried to play the gender card this weekend," 23 Apr. 2018 Rather, in the TSVF one can gain retrospective knowledge of what happened in a quantum system by selecting the outcome: Instead of simply measuring where a particle ends up, a researcher chooses a particular location in which to look for it. Philip Ball, Scientific American, "Quantum Physics May Be Even Spookier Than You Think," 21 May 2018 The retrospective address, vibrating with eccentric observations and quiet humor, centers on the memory of Bocanegra's grandparents' farm in La Grange, Texas. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the farmhouse next door, and unexpected connections in between," 16 Apr. 2018 Always overproductive, Picasso supercharged his career in 1932, the year his first retrospective exhibition took place and when the first volume of Christian Zervos’s mammoth catalogue raisonné was published. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Picasso in 1932: Ingenious, Exhausting, Relentless," 2 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Again, is the first Warhol retrospective organized by a United States museum since 1989 and will feature more than 350 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, films, videos and photographs. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Thousands of Unseen Photos Featuring Andy Warhol and Celebrity Pals to Be Digitized," 11 July 2018 London's Victoria & Albert Museum has announced its next blockbuster fashion exhibition: Mary Quant, the first international retrospective of the revolutionary designer in nearly 50 years. refinery29.com, "Mary Quant, Mini Skirt Purveyor, Is Being Honored With A Fashion Exhibit," 8 June 2018 Crafted by the late Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez, the cityscapes are part of Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams, the first retrospective of his work. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Marvel at Bodys Isek Kingelez’s spectacular cityscapes made of everyday materials," 7 June 2018 One volatile focus of disagreement, which surely played a prominent role, concerns the planned 2020 retrospective for painter Mark Grotjahn. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "MOCA still mum about curator's firing, despite crucial questions and too few answers," 20 Mar. 2018 Scroll below for a preview of the Brooklyn Museum retrospective. Mary Dellas, The Cut, "Dressing David Bowie As ‘Ziggy Stardust’," 26 Feb. 2018 The theater kicks off its summer programming with two retrospectives. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "3 Film Series to Catch in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 Derek Hambly Fine Art will open May 10 with a retrospective of 20 years of his paintings, and some of his abstract pieces will displayed in the restaurant. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An art gallery is opening in Lakeside Supper Club in Summit," 4 May 2018 Consider this something of a Bieber beauty retrospective — a tribute to his trademark fringe, those platinum days, and everything in-between. refinery29.com, "You Won't Believe How Much Justin Bieber's Hair Has Changed," 10 July 2018

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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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 \

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 \

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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