[ ree-tahr-dey-shuh n ]
/ ˌri tɑrˈdeɪ ʃən /


the act of retarding or state of being retarded.
something that retards; hindrance.
Usually Offensive. slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness, emotional development, academic progress, etc.See also mental retardation.
Music. a form of suspension that is resolved upward.



Punctuation marks help make writing easy to read and understand. Some of the most important ones are the period (.), comma (,), question mark (?), and exclamation point (!). How well do you know how to use them? Find out in this quiz!
Question 1 of 10
Which punctuation mark is best for this sentence? "Can I watch a movie __"
Also re·tard·ment [ri-tahrd-muh nt] /rɪˈtɑrd mənt/.

Origin of retardation

1400–50; late Middle English retardacioun < Latin retardātiōn- (stem of retardātiō), equivalent to retardāt(us) (see retard, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion

usage note for retardation

OTHER WORDS FROM retardation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for retardment


less commonly retardment (rɪˈtɑːdmənt)

/ (ˌriːtɑːˈdeɪʃən) /


the act of retarding or the state of being retarded
something that retards; hindrance
the rate of deceleration
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

Medical definitions for retardment

[ rē′tär-dāshən ]


The condition of being relatively slow in mental, emotional, or physical development.
The extent to which something is held back or delayed.
Mental retardation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.