retrospective meaning

[ ˌretrəu'spektiv ] Pronunciation:   "retrospective" in a sentence
Noun: retrospective  `retru'spektiv
  1. An exhibition of a representative selection of an artist's life work
Adjective: retrospective  `retru'spektiv
  1. Concerned with or related to the past
    "retrospective self-justification"

Derived forms: retrospectives

See also: backward, ex post facto, retro, retroactive, retrospect, retrospectively

Type of: art exhibition

Antonym: prospective

Encyclopedia: Retrospective


(about a new law, rule, etc.) intended to take effect from a particular date in the past rather than from the present date:

retrospective pay awards

retrospective legislation

retrospectively (also retroactively) adverb:

The new rule will be applied retroactively.

Looking backwards.

This word is usually applied to those acts of the legislature, which are made to operate upon some subject, contract or crime which existed before the passage of the acts, and they are therefore called retrorospective laws. These laws are generally unjust and are, to a certain extent, forbidden by that article in the Constitution of the United States, which prohibits the passage of ex post facto laws or laws impairing contracts.

The right to pass retrospective laws, with the exceptions above mentioned, exists in the several states, according to their own constitutions, and become obligatory if not prohibited by the latter. An instance may be found in the laws of Connecticut. In 1795, the legislature passed a resolve, setting aside a decree of a court of probate disapproving of a will and granted a new hearing; it was held that the resolve not being against any constitutional principle in that state, was valid. 386. And in Pennsylvania a judgment was opened by the act of April 1, 1837, which was holden by the supreme court to be constitutional.

Laws should never be considered as applying to cases which arose previously to their passage, unless the legislature have clearly declared such to be their intention.

a : of, relating to, or given to introspection
b : relating to or being a study (as of a disease) that starts with the present condition of a population of individuals and collects data about their past history to explain their present condition —compare PROSPECTIVE
2 : based on memory — ret·ro·spec·tive·ly adv


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  1. the legislation was made retrospective.
  2. when a precedent is overruled the effect is retrospective.
  3. i had to stem a rapid rush of retrospective thought before i quailed to the dismal present.
  4. a retrospective and prospective report of studies on li da
  5. retrospective analysis of 534 cases withthyroid nodules

Related Words

  1. retrorse meaning
  2. retrorsely meaning
  3. retrosexual meaning
  4. retrospect meaning
  5. retrospection meaning
  6. retrospective legislation meaning
  7. retrospective moral judgment meaning
  8. retrospective moral judgments meaning
  9. retrospective penalties meaning
  10. retrospective studies meaning
PC Version