See more synonyms for retrospect on
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.
verb (used with object)
  1. to look back upon; contemplate retrospectively.
  1. in retrospect, in looking back on past events; upon reflection: It was, in retrospect, the happiest day of her life.

Origin of retrospect

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

Examples from the Web for retrospecting

Historical Examples of retrospecting

  • By retrospecting to occurrences that happened during my journey of life.

    Life Gleanings

    T. J. Macon

  • Louis and I have been retrospecting to-day, reading together the journal of the past two years.

    The Harvest of Years

    Martha Lewis Beckwith Ewell

British Dictionary definitions for retrospecting


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

Word Origin for retrospect

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 retrospecting



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper