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See more synonyms for retrospect on Thesaurus.com
  1. contemplation of the past; a survey of past time, events, etc.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to look back in thought; refer back (often followed by to): to retrospect to a period in one's youth.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to look back upon; contemplate retrospectively.
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  1. in retrospect, in looking back on past events; upon reflection: It was, in retrospect, the happiest day of her life.
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Origin of retrospect

1595–1605; probably retro- + (pro)spect
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for retrospect


  1. the act of surveying things past (often in the phrase in retrospect)
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verb archaic
  1. to contemplate (anything past); look back on (something)
  2. (intr often foll by to) to refer
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin retrōspicere to look back, from retro- + specere to look
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

Word Origin and History for retrospect


c.1600, "a regard or reference" (to something), from Latin retrospectum, past participle of retrospicere "look back," from retro- "back" (see retro-) + specere "look at" (see scope (n.1)). Meaning "survey of past events" is from 1660s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper