from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Application of a subsequent rule or condition to something that occurred at a previous time.
  • noun An opposing or reciprocal action; a reaction.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Action which is opposed or contrary to the preceding action; retrospective reference.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Action returned, or action backward.
  • noun Operation on something past or preceding.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any action that has an influence due to a past event
  • noun An opposing action; a reaction


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It grants her a "novel education," in all the complexity, retroaction, and necessary wandering that

    Attached to Reading: Mary Shelley's Psychical Reality

  • For example, statistics had not quite demonstrated to Germany that the physique of her people and the rate of increase of their families were declining while the expenditures for superpreparedness for war was demanding either retroaction in that regard or else an expenditure from the principal of their property.

    A Brief History of Panics and Their Periodical Occurrence in the United States

  • And we are entitled to consider it as a secondary result of the general expressional impulse, that when mastered by an overpowering feeling we seek enhancement or relief by retroaction from sympathisers, who reproduce and in their expression represent the mental state by which we are dominated.

    Introduction to the Science of Sociology

  • The more conscious our craving for retroaction from sympathisers, the more there must also be developed in us a conscious endeavor to cause the feeling to be appropriated by as many as possible and as completely as possible.

    Introduction to the Science of Sociology

  • The act was held inoperative; but whether this was because of its retroaction in this particular case or for the broader reason that it assumed to excuse debtors from their promises, was not at the time made clear.

    The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation Annotations of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to June 30, 1952

  • As soon as this retroaction is perceived and the act is done with knowledge of its ensuing benefits, plastic impulse becomes art, and the world begins actually to change in obedience to reason.

    The Life of Reason

  • A mutual retroaction occurs: the sense of disgust is increased, because the act is regarded as immoral; and, on the other hand, a strong sense of disgust may increase the perception of immorality.

    The Sexual Life of the Child

  • I was prompted instinctively to pick up a city newspaper ... my visionary mind was mechanically drawn down through its newsy page to a single item of distinctive meaning, so electrifying and magically warming my freezing life-current, that I was instantly thrown into complete respiration and retroaction.

    Facts. By a Woman

  • Even the hatred of the grand old man had an element of unselfishness in its retroaction, of power in its persistency, and of greatness in its absolute contempt of compromise.


  • As ominous as every factor of retroaction seems an added tonnage at the cost of high flyer altitude, DC's creative proponents have coursed a behind-the-scenes experience that will undold as the issues roll out.

    Examiner National Edition Channel Articles


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