retrospective

1 of 2

adjective

ret·​ro·​spec·​tive ˌre-trə-ˈspek-tiv How to pronounce retrospective (audio)
1
a(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
retrospectively adverb

retrospective

2 of 2

noun

: 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

Did you know?

At the end of the year, both introspection and retrospection are common. While introspection involves looking inward and taking stock of oneself, retrospection is all about recollecting and contemplating things that happened in the past. A look back at the history of the related adjective retrospective reveals that it retains a strong connection to its past; its Latin source is retrospicere, meaning “to look back at.” Retrospective can also be used as a noun referring to an exhibition that “looks back” at an artist’s work created over a span of years. Once you have retrospective and retrospection behind you, you can also add their kin retrospect and retro to your vocabulary, too.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Watch the trailer for the retrospective, an IndieWire exclusive, below. Christian Zilko, IndieWire, 17 July 2024 The retrospective study analyzed data from 16,827 patients and found that patients with type 2 diabetes who used semaglutide had a 4.3% higher risk of developing NAION than those on other medications. John Loeppky, Verywell Health, 16 July 2024
Noun
At the festival there will be a retrospective of your work. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 July 2024 The show is one of four that spotlight local artists at the museum, which is also hosting retrospectives of a trio of Washington art veterans: sculptor Dickson Carroll, collagist Renee Butler and painter Jack Boul. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 28 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for retrospective 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'retrospective.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Noun

1929, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of retrospective was in 1664

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Dictionary Entries Near retrospective

Cite this Entry

“Retrospective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retrospective. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

retrospective

1 of 2 adjective
ret·​ro·​spec·​tive ˌre-trə-ˈspek-tiv How to pronounce retrospective (audio)
: of, relating to, or given to retrospection
retrospectively adverb

retrospective

2 of 2 noun
: an exhibition, compilation, or performance of work that an artist has done in the past

Medical Definition

retrospective

adjective
ret·​ro·​spec·​tive -ˈspek-tiv How to pronounce retrospective (audio)
1
a
: 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
retrospectively adverb

Legal Definition

retrospective

adjective
ret·​ro·​spec·​tive ˈre-trə-ˌspek-tiv How to pronounce retrospective (audio)
: 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
retrospectively adverb
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