1 a : contemplative of or relative to past events : characterized by, given to, or indulging in retrospection
b : being a generally comprehensive exhibition, compilation, or performance of the work of an artist over a span of years
2 : affecting things past : retroactive
The audit revealed that the organization owed retrospective taxes.
"The 1998 retrospective Ladies and Gentlemen—The Best of George Michael (Epic/Sony) is the album to receive the most attention in the late singer-songwriter's catalogue…." — Paul Sexton, Billboard.com, 30 Dec. 2016
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 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.
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
What verb beginning with "d" is derived from Latin specere and means "to look down on with contempt or aversion"?VIEW THE ANSWER