- contemplation of the past; a survey of past time, events, etc.
- to look back in thought; refer back (often followed by to): to retrospect to a period in one's youth.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- the act of surveying things past (often in the phrase in retrospect)
- to contemplate (anything past); look back on (something)
- (intr often foll by to) to refer
Word Origin for retrospect
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Looking backward, reflecting on the past. For example, In retrospect, he regarded his move as the best thing he'd ever done. This idiom employs retrospect in the sense of “a view of the past.” [Second half of 1600s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.