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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ And there are few precedents for the sort of retroactive legislation the banks want.
▪ At least the government can answer those who say its attitude to retroactive legislation is inconsistent.
▪ Even if it stops short of this extreme, retroactive cost justification is largely ineffective.
▪ Many suspect that retroactive tax cuts could be ditched.
▪ Some schemes use retroactive notation in order to signal new facets.
▪ The result seems imposed and artificial, a seemingly retroactive attempt to fit unwilling text to some overarching high-concept frame.
▪ There's an immediate freeze on all anti-USSR activities, retroactive to 2400 hours last night.
▪ This means that the payment may have been for multiple months, which indicates there may have been a retroactive salary payment.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Retroactive \Re`tro*act"ive\, a. [Cf. F. r['e]troactif.] Fitted or designed to retroact; operating by returned action; affecting what is past; retrospective.

Retroactive law or Retroactive statute (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.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1610s, from French rétroactif (16c.) "casting or relating back," from Latin retroact-, past participle stem of retroagere "drive or turn back," from retro- "back" (see retro-) + agere "to drive, set in motion" (see act (v.)). Related: Retroactively.


a. extending in scope, effect, application or influence to a prior time or to prior conditions

  1. 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 [ant: proactive]

  2. affecting things past; "retroactive tax increase"; "an ex-post-facto law"; "retro pay" [syn: ex post facto, retro]


Retroactive may refer to:

  • Retroactive (album), an album by Grand Puba
  • Retro-active, an album by Karizma
  • Retro Active, an album by Def Leppard
  • Retroactive (film), a 1997 movie starring James Belushi and Kylie Travis
Retroactive (album)

Retroactive is the fourth album by Grand Puba. It was released on September 6, 2009.

Retroactive (film)

Retroactive is a 1997 adventure science fiction action film directed by Louis Morneau.

Usage examples of "retroactive".

State to procure a retroactive invalidation of a divorce decree, and then punish one of its citizens for conduct authorized by that decree, when it had never been challenged by either of the people most immediately interested in it.

At seventeen, she had been the mistress of Ruggy Toliver, who had invented the concept of retroactive foreclosure and made himself fabulously rich in the process.

A tax may be made retroactive for a short period to include profits made while it was in process of enactment.

A special income tax on profits realized by the sale of silver, retroactive for 35 days, which was approximately the period during which the silver purchase bill was before Congress, was held valid.

An income tax law, made retroactive to the beginning of the calendar year in which it was adopted, was found constitutional as applied to the gain from the sale, shortly before its enactment, of property received as a gift during the year.

Thus, the retroactive repeal of a provision which made directors liable for moneys embezzled by corporate officers, by preventing enforcement of a liability which already had arisen, deprived certain creditors of their property without due process of law.

Another example of valid retroactive taxation is to be found in a New York statute amending a 1930 estate tax law.

Taxpayers cannot complain of arbitrary action or assert surprise in the retroactive apportionment of tax burdens to income when that is done by the legislature at the first opportunity after knowledge of the nature and amount of the income is available.

Nor is the retroactive application of this statutory requirement to actions pending at the time of its adoption violative of due process as long as no new liability for expenses incurred before enactment is imposed thereby, and the only effect thereof is to stay such proceedings until the security is furnished.

There was no record of her existence in the well-enumerated society of Verite, and the safest way to create her identity, he judged, would be incrementally, over a period of time, a stroke here, a stroke there, a small retroactive datum every now and then.

That had ushered in her retroactive change of life in the year 1090, and suddenly she had three children.

Nicholai most was that the mass of the Japanese condoned the punishment of their military leaders, not for the Japanese reason that many of them had placed their personal glorification and power lust before the interests of their nation and people, but for the Western reason that these men had somehow sinned against retroactive rules of human behavior based on a foreign notion of morality.

We will not be able to convince these people that there will be no overnight change of laws with the coming of a Kaiel government, no confusion, no retroactive Contribution for laws invented today.

Obviously, such retroactive witchcraft was worthy of further investigation, and the key was the synergetic geometry of the Fuller tetrahedron in which he had kept his manikin during the spell-casting.

Taxpayers cannot complain of arbitrary action or assert surprise in the retroactive apportionment of tax burdens to income when that is done by the legislature at the first opportunity after knowledge of the nature and amount of the income is available.