- a prefix occurring in loanwords from Latin meaning “backward” (retrogress); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (retrorocket).
Origin of retro-
- back or backwardsretroactive
- located behindretrolental
Word Origin and History for retro-
word-forming element meaning "backwards; behind," from Latin retro (prep.) "backward, back, behind," also of time, "formerly, in past times," probably originally the ablative form of *reteros, based on re- "back" (see re-).
L. retro stands to re- as intro, "in, within"; to in, "in," and as citro, "hither," stands to cis, "on this side." [Klein]
Common in combinations in post-classical Latin (the classical equivalent was post-). Active in English as a word-forming element from mid-20c.
- Backward; back:retroposition.
- Situated behind:retroperitoneum.