Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

retroactive

[re-troh-ak-tiv]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. operative with respect to past occurrences, as a statute; retrospective: a retroactive law.
  2. pertaining to a pay raise effective as of a past date.
Show More

Origin of retroactive

First recorded in 1605–15; retro- + active
Related formsret·ro·ac·tive·ly, adverbret·ro·ac·tiv·i·ty, nounnon·ret·ro·ac·tive, adjectivenon·ret·ro·ac·tive·ly, adverbnon·ret·ro·ac·tiv·i·ty, nounun·ret·ro·ac·tive, adjectiveun·ret·ro·ac·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for retroactively

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Such patterns, circumscribed by human self-constitution in the natural and cultural context, are significant only retroactively.

  • Retroactively the demand for mystery, which is the very soul of interest, must find new expression.


British Dictionary definitions for retroactively

retroactive

adjective
  1. applying or referring to the pastretroactive legislation
  2. effective or operative from a date or for a period in the past
Show More
Derived Formsretroactively, adverbretroactiveness or retroactivity, noun
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

retroactive

adj.

1610s, from French rétroactif (16c.) "casting or relating back," from Latin retroact-, past participle stem of retroagere "drive or turn back," from retro- "back" (see retro-) + agere "to drive, set in motion" (see act (v.)). Related: Retroactively.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper