[ re-truh-spek-tiv ]
/ ˌrɛ trəˈspɛk tɪv /


directed to the past; contemplative of past situations, events, etc.
looking or directed backward.
retroactive, as a statute.


an art exhibit showing an entire phase or representative examples of an artist's lifework.
any exhibition or series of showings or performances, as of musical works or motion pictures, representing the work of an artist or performer over all or a major part of a career: a retrospective of John Ford's movies.

Origin of retrospective

First recorded in 1655–65; retrospect + -ive

OTHER WORDS FROM retrospective

ret·ro·spec·tive·ly, adverbret·ro·spec·tive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for retrospective

British Dictionary definitions for retrospective

/ (ˌrɛtrəʊˈspɛktɪv) /


looking or directed backwards, esp in time; characterized by retrospection
applying to the past; retroactive


an exhibition of an artist's life's work or a representative selection of it

Derived forms of retrospective

retrospectively, adverbretrospectiveness, 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