Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[re-truh-spekt] /ˈrɛ trəˌspɛkt/
contemplation of the past; a survey of past time, events, etc.
verb (used without object)
to look back in thought; refer back (often followed by to):
to retrospect to a period in one's youth.
verb (used with object)
to look back upon; contemplate retrospectively.
in retrospect, in looking back on past events; upon reflection:
It was, in retrospect, the happiest day of her life.
Origin of retrospect
1595-1605; probably retro- + (pro)spect Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for retrospect
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And the adjutant threw his head back and laughed joyously over the retrospect.

  • The Russian ballet, in the retrospect, seems trivial by comparison.

    Appearances Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson
  • The things that seemed important when they were present seem pitifully insignificant in the retrospect.

    Our Lady Saint Mary J. G. H. Barry
  • Indeed he had succeeded in reality, as well as in retrospect, in evading his grief.

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
  • That it is wrong, but that the only remedy is a bill of retrospect.

British Dictionary definitions for retrospect


the act of surveying things past (often in the phrase in retrospect)
verb (archaic)
to contemplate (anything past); look back on (something)
(intransitive) often foll by to. to refer
Word Origin
C17: from Latin retrōspicere to look back, from retro- + specere to look
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for retrospect

c.1600, "a regard or reference" (to something), from Latin retrospectum, past participle of retrospicere "look back," from retro- "back" (see retro-) + specere "look at" (see scope (n.1)). Meaning "survey of past events" is from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for retrospect

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for retrospect

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for retrospect