[ re-truh-spek-tiv-lee ]


  1. with contemplation of past situations, events, etc.:

    You should examine your relationship retrospectively.

  2. with retrospective effect; retroactively:

    The law operates retrospectively.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of retrospectively1

First recorded in 1600–10; retrospective ( def ) + -ly ( def )
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Example Sentences

In Girls5eva, whose second season aired on Peacock this past spring, the four surviving members of a short-lived Y2K-era pop quintet reunite after a rapper samples their retrospectively ironic hit “Famous 5eva.”

From Time

Scientists tend to study the effects of the chemical on human cells or other animals in the lab, or to retrospectively ask people about their exposure to glyphosate to find potential health correlations.

The reason this works is because new experiences cause the brain to write down more memory, and then when you read that back out retrospectively, the event seems to have lasted longer.

In addition, we’ve retrospectively identified some cases that occurred prior to the first two cases.

Implemented on a global level, this could allow supply chains to be retrospectively reconstructed by economists from public records.

The constitution was rewritten retrospectively in an attempt to put the concession beyond legal challenge.

But what happens once this retrospectively meager foreign aid money dries up?

And if it's not the winning message now, how will it have retrospectively become the winning message on Wednesday morning?

Some may say that a former president of course will do well retrospectively.

This week has the feel of one that might become retrospectively pivotal.

That period viewed retrospectively seems to me like one of a kind of madness.

Mr. Jaggers nodded his head retrospectively two or three times, and actually drew a sigh.

Purposes somehow work retrospectively so as to determine the course of events towards a good end.

Why then should not the satisfactory plum shed its halo retrospectively upon what precedes and be taken as a sign of virtue?

In fact, all that has become may be explained retrospectively, but the beginning of anything whatever did not become.