Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To return to an earlier, inferior, or less complex condition.
  • intransitive v. To go or move backward.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To return to an earlier, simpler or worse condition; to regress.
  • v. To go backwards; to retreat.
  • v. To return to bad behaviour; to relapse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Retrogression.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To move backward; retrograde.
  • n. Retrogradation; falling off; decline.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. get worse or fall back to a previous condition
  • v. go back to bad behavior

Etymologies

Latin retrōgradī, *retrōgress- : retrō-, retro- + gradī, to go; see ghredh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin retrōgressus, perfect active participle of retrōgradior ("retrograde"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And in 1985, when Grace Bumbry was a sensation as Bess in a Metropolitan Opera production, she slammed the opera: "I thought it beneath me, I felt I had worked far too hard, that we had come far too far to have to retrogress to 1935."

    Jesse Kornbluth: An African-American Woman Wrote To Me: The Help Makes Us Look Ignorant & One-Dimensional

  • I'm not advocating that women retrogress to the brainless housewives of the '50s who spent afternoons baking macaroni sculptures and keeping Betty Crocker files.

    The Failure Of Feminism

  • So while Black communities retrogress into crime, poverty and hopelessness, with Black families in tatters and living in a kind of pervasive chaos that exists on a day-to-day basis, these Black leaders offer carefully crafted “politically correct” speeches, sport natty Armani suits, and boast about how they are the only “Blacks on the block where white people live.”

    The Invisible, Irrelevant Black Leadership

  • All six called for peaceful and democratic elections with the leader of the main opposition Ernest Koroma of the All People's Congress (APC) stressing that "the polls will put Sierra Leone in a position to advance or retrogress".

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • By contrast, he writes, "when living standards stagnate or decline, most societies make little if any progress toward any of these goals, and in all too many instances they plainly retrogress."

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • The whole area will retrogress into chaotic conditions.

    CNN Transcript May 25, 2006

  • Should we continue to stagnate or retrogress while the rest of the world moves forward?

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Naturally, we must not retrogress in agriculture because, in reality, agriculture is one of the fields in which we must make a greater effort for productivity.

    CASTRO SPEAKS AT 14TH CTC CONGRESS CLOSING SESS

  • Why did they believe that with a brigade of mercenaries, no matter how many imperialists they could count on, could make the history of our nation retrogress?

    5TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PLAYA GIRON VICTORY

  • The world has seen the great civilization of the Western empire give place to the warring chaos of the baronial castles of the ninth and tenth centuries; it has seen the Eastern empire for 500 years decay and retrogress under the militarism of the Turk; it has watched the Red Indians, with rifles in their hands, grimly engage in mutual extermination.

    New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 April-September, 1915

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