moving backward; having a backward motion or direction; retiring or retreating.
inverse or reversed, as order.
Chiefly Biology. exhibiting degeneration or deterioration.
moving in an orbit in the direction opposite to that of the earth in its revolution around the sun.
appearing to move on the celestial sphere in the direction opposite to the natural order of the signs of the zodiac, or from east to west.: Compare direct (def. 25).
Music. proceeding from the last note to the first: a melody in retrograde motion.
Archaic. contrary; opposed.
to move or go backward; retire or retreat.
Chiefly Biology. to decline to a worse condition; degenerate.
Astronomy. to have a retrograde motion.
Archaic. to turn back.
- ret·ro·grade·ly, adverb
- ret·ro·grad·ing·ly, adverb
- un·ret·ro·grad·ed, adjective
- un·ret·ro·grad·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use retrograde in a sentence
One of the mission’s objectives is to see how well the capsule will fare in distant retrograde orbit, or DRO.Orion will air kiss the moon today during important Artemis exercise | Purbita Saha | November 21, 2022 | Popular-Science
Yet retrograde, gendered patterns and habits have long fueled tech’s extraordinary moneymaking machine.
However, Ghez’s team has observed a “tentative retrograde” orbit, the exact opposite of Einstein’s predictions.
If Mercury in retrograde is a time of great unbalance, the sobering and protecting powers of amethyst make it a fitting stone for Taco Bell and Pratt to shill.
Trina has consistently offered rap anthems for women who refuse to acquiesce to retrograde and, frankly, sexist expectations for how women talk about their sexuality.21 Years After Her Debut, Trina Is Still ‘Da Baddest’ | Brande Victorian | March 19, 2021 | Essence.com
The whole hand-to-the-mouth gasping thing we do when learning that women go see these films is horribly retrograde.'Guardians of the Galaxy' Is Not a Watershed Moment for Women | Kevin Fallon | August 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But more often, the inclusion of people of color is limited or mitigated by oddly retrograde cultural politics.
Mainline Protestant denominations are in marked decline and Evangelical Christianity is in slow retrograde.
This, lest we forget, remains the modern prototype for a quintessentially retrograde act.
The long-time Washington Post columnist has, again, used his valuable real estate to give retrograde opinions on race.Read Richard Cohen Project His Racism on Social Conservatives | Jamelle Bouie | November 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
One retrograde or timid step would open the eyes of men, and bring down ruin on the Pantamorphica.
He executes with speed, and even with ease, all direct motion; but he has no facility for oblique or retrograde motions.Buffon's Natural History. Volume VII (of 10) | Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon
A nation cannot remain stationary; she must advance or retrograde.
But the retrograde movement towards the gate had begun—as unreasoningly, perhaps as blindly, as the simultaneous anger.North and South | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
On the 10th my army, resuming its retrograde movement, crossed to the north side of Cedar Creek.The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete | General Philip Henry Sheridan
British Dictionary definitions for retrograde
moving or bending backwards
(esp of order) reverse or inverse
tending towards an earlier worse condition; declining or deteriorating
occurring or orbiting in a direction opposite to that of the earth's motion around the sun: Compare direct (def. 18)
occurring or orbiting in a direction around a planet opposite to the planet's rotational direction: the retrograde motion of the satellite Phoebe around Saturn
appearing to move in a clockwise direction due to the rotational period exceeding the period of revolution around the sun: Venus has retrograde rotation
biology tending to retrogress; degenerate
music of, concerning, or denoting a melody or part that is played backwards
obsolete opposed, contrary, or repugnant to
to move in a retrograde direction; retrogress
US military another word for retreat (def. 1)
- retrogradation, noun
- retrogradely, adverb
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
Scientific definitions for retrograde
Having a rotational or orbital movement that is opposite to the movement of most bodies within a celestial system. In the solar system, retrograde bodies are those that rotate or orbit in a clockwise direction (east to west) when viewed from a vantage point above the Earth's north pole. Venus, Uranus, and Pluto have retrograde rotational movements. No planets in the solar system have retrograde orbital movements, but four of Jupiter's moons exhibit such movement.
Having a brief, regularly occurring, apparently backward movement in the sky as viewed from Earth against the background of fixed stars. Retrograde movement of the planets is caused by the differing orbital velocities of Earth and the body observed. For example, the outer planets normally appear to drift gradually eastward in the sky in relation to the fixed stars; that is, they appear night after night to fall a little farther behind the neighboring stars in their westward passage across the sky. However, at certain times a particular planet appears briefly to speed up and move westward a bit more quickly than the neighboring stars. This happens as Earth, in its faster inner orbit, overtakes and passes the planet in its slower outer orbit; the appearance of moving counter to its usual eastward drift is thus simply the result of perspective as seen from Earth. Compare prograde.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.