• synonyms


See more synonyms for regressive on Thesaurus.com
  1. regressing or tending to regress; retrogressive.
  2. Biology. of, relating to, or effecting regression.
  3. (of tax) decreasing proportionately with an increase in the tax base.
  4. Logic. obtained from or characterized by backward reasoning.
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Origin of regressive

First recorded in 1625–35; regress + -ive
Related formsre·gres·sive·ly, adverbre·gres·sive·ness, re·gres·siv·i·ty [ree-gre-siv-i-tee] /ˌri grɛˈsɪv ɪ ti/, nounnon·re·gres·sive, adjectivenon·re·gres·sive·ly, adverbun·re·gres·sive, adjectiveun·re·gres·sive·ly, adverbun·re·gres·sive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for regressive

rightist, rigid, regressive, counterrevolutionary, right, obscurantist, Tory, rearward, back, receding, converse, inverted, everted, turned, die-hard, orthodox, traditional, retrogressive, traditionalistic, old-line

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British Dictionary definitions for regressive


  1. regressing or tending to regress
  2. (of a tax or tax system) levied or graduated so that the rate decreases as the amount taxed increasesSee progressive (def. 5)
  3. of, relating to, or characteristic of regression
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Derived Formsregressively, adverbregressiveness, 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 regressive


1630s; see regress + -ive. In reference to taxation, it is attested from 1889. Related: Regressively.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

regressive in Medicine


  1. Having a tendency to return or to revert.
  2. Characterized by regression.
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Related formsre•gressive•ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.