- operative with respect to past occurrences, as a statute; retrospective: a retroactive law.
- pertaining to a pay raise effective as of a past date.
Origin of retroactive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for retroactively
If the women were duped, that consent can retroactively be denied.Marital Rape Ruling Highlights India’s Problem With Consent
May 18, 2014
Included in the reforms was new wording that holds the commission accountable for religious discrimination—now and retroactively.Muslim Woman Sues Religious-Freedom Commission For Discrimination
June 25, 2012
The government also plans to retroactively legalize three other West Bank “outposts.”Settling on Passover
April 5, 2012
For $1,000, they received several prints at a time, which they could have retroactively bound.Christie’s Auctions Audubon’s ‘Birds of America’: Priciest Book Ever?
January 14, 2012
Such patterns, circumscribed by human self-constitution in the natural and cultural context, are significant only retroactively.The Civilization of Illiteracy</p>
Retroactively the demand for mystery, which is the very soul of interest, must find new expression.Masterpieces of Mystery
- applying or referring to the pastretroactive legislation
- effective or operative from a date or for a period in the past
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for retroactively
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper