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retrospective

adjective ret·ro·spec·tive \ ˌre-trə-ˈspek-tiv \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of retrospective

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

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Examples of retrospective in a Sentence

  1. They issued a retrospective report.

  2. a retrospective analysis of what went wrong

  3. The museum is having a retrospective exhibit of the artist's early works.

Recent Examples of retrospective from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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.

First Known Use of retrospective

1664


2

retrospective

noun

Definition of retrospective

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

Examples of retrospective in a Sentence

  1. The museum is featuring a retrospective of Picasso's early works.

Recent Examples of retrospective from the Web

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.

First Known Use of retrospective

1929


RETROSPECTIVE Defined for English Language Learners

retrospective

adjective

Definition of retrospective for English Language Learners

  • : of or relating to the past or something that happened in the past

  • : effective from a particular date in the past


retrospective

noun

Definition of retrospective for English Language Learners

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


Medical Dictionary

retrospective

adjective ret·ro·spec·tive \ -ˈspek-tiv \

medical Definition of retrospective

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

Law Dictionary

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

retrospectively

adverb


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