[ ri-gres-iv ]
/ rɪˈgrɛs ɪv /


regressing or tending to regress; retrogressive.
Biology. of, relating to, or effecting regression.
(of tax) decreasing proportionately with an increase in the tax base.
Logic. obtained from or characterized by backward reasoning.

Nearby words

  1. regrating,
  2. regreet,
  3. regress,
  4. regression,
  5. regression analysis,
  6. regressive assimilation,
  7. regressive staining,
  8. regressive tax,
  9. regressively,
  10. regressivity

Origin of regressive

First recorded in 1625–35; regress + -ive

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for regressive

British Dictionary definitions for regressive


/ (rɪˈɡrɛsɪv) /


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for regressive


[ rĭ-grĕsĭv ]


Having a tendency to return or to revert.
Characterized by regression.
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.