[ ree-tahr-dey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for retardation on
  1. the act of retarding or state of being retarded.

  2. something that retards; hindrance.

  1. Usually Offensive. slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness, emotional development, academic progress, etc.: See also intellectual disability, mental retardation.

  2. Music. a form of suspension that is resolved upward.

Origin of retardation

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English retardacioun, from Latin retardātiōn- (stem of retardātiō ), equivalent to retardāt(us) (see retard, -ate1) + -iōn- noun suffix (see -ion)
  • Also re·tard·ment [ri-tahrd-muhnt] /rɪˈtɑrd mənt/ (for defs. 1, 2) .

usage note For retardation

See retarded.

Other words from retardation

  • re·tard·a·tive [ri-tahr-duh-tiv], /rɪˈtɑr də tɪv/, re·tard·a·to·ry [ri-tahr-duh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee], /rɪˈtɑr dəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
  • non·re·tar·da·tion, noun
  • non·re·tard·a·tive, adjective
  • non·re·tard·a·to·ry, adjective
  • non·re·tard·ment, noun

Words Nearby retardation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

British Dictionary definitions for retardation


less commonly retardment (rɪˈtɑːdmənt)

/ (ˌriːtɑːˈdeɪʃən) /

  1. the act of retarding or the state of being retarded

  2. something that retards; hindrance

  1. the rate of deceleration

  2. psychiatry the slowing down of mental functioning and bodily movement

Derived forms of retardation

  • retardative or retardatory, adjective

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