Definitions

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

  • adjective Influencing or applying to a period prior to enactment.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Retroacting; having a reversed or retrospective action; operative with respect to past circumstances; holding good for preceding cases.

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

  • adjective Fitted or designed to retroact; operating by returned action; affecting what is past; retrospective.
  • adjective (Law) one which operates to make criminal or punishable, or in any way expressly to affect, acts done prior to the passing of the law.

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

  • adjective Extending in scope, effect, application or influence to a prior time or to prior conditions

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

  • adjective descriptive of any event or stimulus or process that has an effect on the effects of events or stimuli or process that occurred previously
  • adjective affecting things past

Etymologies

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

[French rétroactif, from Latin retroāctus, past participle of retroagere, to drive back : retrō-, retro- + agere, to drive; see ag- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • Well, I'm not sure this proposal is retrospective I prefer the term retroactive, actually.

    Grabbing Sir Fred Goodwin's pension

  • Well, I'm not sure this proposal is retrospective I prefer the term retroactive, actually.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • BLITZER: That's what they call retroactive immunity, if you like.

    CNN Transcript Oct 16, 2007

  • This is what we call a retroactive confession of evolutionist ignorance, where, as I've observed before, evolutionists exhibit predictable behavior where they "only admit how weak the evidence was for evolution after they have some new allegedly 'transitional' fossil in their hands."

    Evolution News & Views

  • This is what we call a retroactive confession of evolutionist ignorance, where, as I've observed before, evolutionists exhibit predictable behavior where they "only admit how weak the evidence was for evolution after they have some new allegedly 'transitional' fossil in their hands."

    Evolution News & Views

  • October 31, 2007, the VA paid Toth $93,240.00 in retroactive disability payments and Toth also began receiving over $2,500.00 per month in disability payments.

    Heroes or Villains?

  • October 31, 2007, the VA paid Toth $93,240.00 in retroactive disability payments and Toth also began receiving over $2,500.00 per month in disability payments.

    Heroes or Villains?

  • The deals are termed "retroactive reinsurance" because such policies cover losses that have already occurred but whose final costs aren't yet known.

    AIG Unloads Asbestos Liabilities; Buffett Gets 'Float'

  • Girl With A Purpose reports that Jamaica's teachers are on strike, protesting the government's “inability to pay them the $4 billion in retroactive salaries owed …”

    Global Voices in English » Jamaica: High Teen Pregnancy and Sexual Violence Rates

  • But fear not, Danny Williams, because Jack Layton has promised an accord with Newfoundland worth as much as $10 billion in retroactive equalization payments.

    2008 October 08 « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

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