Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To act backward, or in return; to act in opposition; to be retrospective.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To act backward, or in return; to act in opposition; to be retrospective.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To act backward; have a backward action or influence; hence, to act upon or affect what is past.

Etymologies

retro- +‎ act (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I remember the first thing slick Willy did was retroact taxes in his first year in office.

    Paper Versus Meat

  • It's still new and, you know, there comes a point where you're in danger of just becoming a retroact and - unless you have a new record.

    The B-52s, Bringing Back the Party

  • In all such eases, odd as it may sound, our judgment may actually be said to retroact and to enrich the past.

    Meaning of Truth

  • In their eyes the past was good or bad for itself, and the present good or bad for itself, and an evil past could no more shadow a virtuous present than a virtuous present could retroact to brighten or redeem an ugly past.

    Miss Ludington's Sister

  • That woman could not retroact and touch the memory of Ida.

    Lost 1898

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