View synonyms for retroactive


[ re-troh-ak-tiv ]


  1. operative with respect to past occurrences, as a statute; retrospective:

    a retroactive law.

  2. pertaining to a pay raise effective as of a past date.


/ ˌrɛtrəʊˈæktɪv /


  1. applying or referring to the past

    retroactive legislation

  2. effective or operative from a date or for a period in the past

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Derived Forms

  • ˌretroˈactiveness, noun
  • ˌretroˈactively, adverb

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Other Words From

  • ret·ro·ac·tive·ly adverb
  • ret·ro·ac·tiv·i·ty noun
  • non·ret·ro·ac·tive adjective
  • non·ret·ro·ac·tiv·i·ty noun
  • un·ret·ro·ac·tive adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of retroactive1

First recorded in 1605–15; retro- + active

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Example Sentences

The House has passed two bills allowing the workers a presumption that their illness from the coronavirus was work-related if they dealt directly with infected people, and made the benefit retroactive to the beginning of the pandemic last March.

Such changes rarely happen quickly, but changes to tax law have sometimes been retroactive to the beginning of the year in which they’re enacted.

From Fortune

One significant outstanding question facing lawmakers is whether the unemployment benefits will be made retroactive to cover prior months when jobless benefits were not being paid.

When questioning Bélanger, he wondered how the requirement for a unanimous conviction must be retroactive, when the court’s decision about the need for a jury trial in some cases was not.

His problem with Maloney’s proposal is that it’s not retroactive, that it doesn’t force insurers to pay out for this pandemic.

For a pair such as Viola and Perov, who have co-created work for decades, there is also precedent for retroactive co-authorship.

Lavalle and his three pals allegedly pocketed a cut of the retroactive lump sum ofas much as $100,000 that each claimant received.

What this may do is reduce the retroactive awards that folks get when they finally manage to get their disability claim approved.

The corroboration that apparently led him to put faith in Ben-Menashe's testimony was retroactive.

Despite his red-hot debate showings—and a retroactive win in Iowa—Senator Sweatervest was basically a nonfactor in Florida.

An inscription on a tomb, showing that virtues acquired by death have a retroactive effect.

Therefore, said they, there was no question for them to consider, their powers not being retroactive.

The matter is so generally recognised that it has a sort of retroactive effect upon the historical ideas of the masses.

The claim that humanity is born saddled with this retroactive obligation requires more convincing proof than has yet been offered.

More than once laws were passed with retroactive effect—truly one of the grossest abuses possible for a civilized Government.





retroactionretroactive inhibition