Definitions

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

  • adj. Influencing or applying to a period prior to enactment: a retroactive pay increase.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Fitted or designed to retroact; operating by returned action; affecting what is past; retrospective.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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

Etymologies

French rétroactif, from Latin retroāctus, past participle of retroagere, to drive back : retrō-, retro- + agere, to drive; see ag- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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

  • HD's mother is demanding an extremely late-term retroactive abortion.

    It's me and Jim Pinkerton on Bloggingheads.TV!

  • Realizing her mistake, HD's mother is demanding an extremely late-term retroactive abortion.

    It's me and Jim Pinkerton on Bloggingheads.TV!

  • Stayed on the phone with someone from Customer Service trouble shooting my computer for over an hour to find that I have to be responsible for fixing the computer at my expense because my warranty expired June of 2005, so I asked does this mean that when you replaced my harddrive before the warranty of the new harddrive became retroactive from the original date I pu

    Dear Mr. Dell « BuzzMachine

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