[ re-troh-ak-tiv ]
/ ˌrɛ troʊˈæk tɪv /


operative with respect to past occurrences, as a statute; retrospective: a retroactive law.
pertaining to a pay raise effective as of a past date.



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Origin of retroactive

First recorded in 1605–15; retro- + active

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

Example sentences from the Web for retroactive

British Dictionary definitions for retroactive

/ (ˌrɛtrəʊˈæktɪv) /


applying or referring to the pastretroactive legislation
effective or operative from a date or for a period in the past

Derived forms of retroactive

retroactively, adverbretroactiveness or retroactivity, 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