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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a retrospective exhibition (=one that shows work from the past)
▪ a retrospective exhibition celebrating 150 years of photography
▪ The Association of University Teachers settled for 4.2% this autumn, with retrospective effect from 1 April 1992.
▪ Companies come into existence by registration with retrospective effect to the date of the contract.
▪ Similarly, a rule will not normally have retrospective effect unless this is clearly provided for.
▪ Noguchi did not get his first retrospective exhibition until he was in his sixties.
▪ There will also be a new retrospective exhibition of the work of the political cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe.
▪ Perpetrators are almost exclusively male, though a few women are reported, particularly in retrospective studies.
▪ There is ample evidence from case-histories that this might happen - and the retrospective study described above supports the idea.
▪ A retrospective study showed that amiodarone was associated with a better prognosis in patients with documented ventricular tachycardia on electrocardiographic monitoring.
▪ It was not possible, however, to obtain such data in this retrospective study.
▪ a retrospective look at the 1974 election
▪ But it was thirty-one years later and recent scholarship has questioned whether the anecdote might not have been a retrospective invention.
▪ But now we see that even the absence of law is no guarantee against the possibility of retrospective regulation.
▪ Every artist should be allowed to design the retrospective box set that will define a lifetime, as has Santana.
▪ It adds some retrospective poignancy to our story, I think, and possibly some connection to Emerson's universe.
▪ Perpetrators are almost exclusively male, though a few women are reported, particularly in retrospective studies.
▪ The retrospective includes 10 of the 12 films written and directed by Sturges.
▪ He exhibited at Betty Parson's gallery and wo Whitney retrospectives of his work were held in 1963 and 1974.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Retrospective \Re`tro*spec"tive\, a. [Cf. F. r['e]trospectif.]

  1. Looking backward; contemplating things past; -- opposed to prospective; as, a retrospective view.

    The sage, with retrospective eye.

  2. Having reference to what is past; affecting things past; retroactive; as, a retrospective law.

    Inflicting death by a retrospective enactment.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1660s, from retrospect + -ive. As a noun, from 1964, short for retrospective exhibition (1908), etc. Related: Retrospectively.


a. 1 of, relating to, or contemplating the past 2 looking backwards 3 affecting or influencing past things; retroactive n. an exhibition of works from an extended period of an artist's activity


adj. concerned with or related to the past; "retrospective self-justification" [ant: prospective]


n. an exhibition of a representative selection of an artist's life work


Retrospective (from Latin retrospectare, "look back") generally means to take a look back at events that already have taken place. As a noun, retrospective has specific meanings in medicine, software development, popular culture and the arts. It is applied as an adjective, synonymous with the term retroactive, to laws, standards, and awards.

Retrospective (X Marks the Pedwalk album)

Retrospective 88-99 is the name of the third "best-of" album by German industrial music band X Marks the Pedwalk. It was released by Metropolis Records in North America in CD format.

Retrospective (Rosanne Cash album)

Retrospective was a 1995 compilation, encapsulating Rosanne Cash's sixteen years with Columbia, released as she was leaving the label. Rather than relying on radio hits, Retrospective focused on lesser known album tracks, unreleased material and live recordings. In the years since, as Columbia has let the majority of Cash's albums go out of print, it has become, along with her Greatest Hits collection, the primary source for listeners to obtain most of her material.

Retrospective (Red House Painters album)

Retrospective is a 2-disc compilation of Red House Painters' songs from the band's 4AD era. The compilation was released in July 1999. Disc one is a collection of definitive Red House Painters tracks culled from their debut album Down Colorful Hill through 1995's Ocean Beach, as picked by 4AD label owner Ivo Watts-Russell. Disc two, subtitled Demos, Outtakes, Live (1989-1995), is a collection of unreleased demos and live recordings from their 4AD years. The essay inside the booklet was written by Rob O'Condor in April 1999. A working title for this collection was Red Perspective.

Retrospective (disambiguation)

A retrospective looks back at events that have taken place. The term may also refer to:

Retrospective (Leaether Strip album)

Retrospective is a best-of compilation album released in the US of Leaether Strip.

Retrospective (Bunny Wailer album)

Retrospective is a compilation album of Bunny Wailer's work from 1986 to 1992. The album was originally released by Wailer's own Solomonic Music/ Shanachie Records in 1995, and was re-released in 2003 by RAS Records.

Retrospective (Russell Morris album)

"Retrospective" (also known as Retrospective 1968-1972) is the second greatest hits compilation by Australian singer songwriter Russell Morris. The album was released in 1978. The album contains tracks from his Columbia Records, His Master's Voice and EMI Music years. The track listing is similar to his 1973 compilation, Wings of an Eagle and Other Great Hits.

The album was later released on Compact Disc and music download.

Usage examples of "retrospective".

Earlier in this chapter, I mentioned a large retrospective analysis by Charles Honorton and Diane Ferrari, of 309 precognition experiments carried out over the fifty years between 1935 and 1987.

To announce the fact, with a tabulation of his reasons, would be the historic, retrospective, undramatic way of dealing with the matter.

The conversation picked up, moved rapidly from matters of the last few days across a long and sombre political retrospective, and then into talk of the Unsettlement and the years that preceded it.

Title: Something of Men I Have Known With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical, and Retrospective Author: Adlai E.

The younger here of our ethereal band And hierarchy of Intelligences, That this thwart Parliament whose moods we watch-- So insular, empiric, un-ideal-- May figure forth in sharp and salient lines To retrospective eyes of afterdays, And print its legend large on History.

Teenocracy, a campily compelling future history whose retrospective unlikelihood reveals just how wrong a linear sf projection can be.

There is a crucially retrospective cast to this kind of understanding, as if to say: you cannot know exposure until it has done its work, until it is too late.

I will not say that Juliet had not her respondent pangs of retrospective jealousy.

God forbid, that, in the meantime, the nature of his extraction should turn to his prejudice in a land of freedom like this, where individuals are every day ennobled in consequence of their own qualifications, without the least retrospective regard to the rank or merit of their ancestors.

He had no idle retrospective whim, Till she was his, her deeds concern’d not him: So far was well, - but Clelia thought not fit (In all the Griffin needed) to submit: Gaily to dress and in the bar preside, Soothed the poor spirit of degraded pride.

There was a big retrospective last year of the original Colorists — Cadell, Peploe, Hunter and Fergusson.

In particular, epidemiology, the science of drawing inferences about human diseases by comparing groups of people (often by retrospective historical studies), has for a long time successfully employed formalized procedures for dealing with problems similar to those facing historians of human societies.

There was a news clipping from _Paris Soir_, an unsigned review of a Man Ray retrospective exhibit in Paris, and Debierue's name was mentioned, together with the names of a dozen other artists, in a listing of Dadaists who had known Man Ray during the 1920s.

Lilya had seen a Museum of Modern Art Film Retrospective of Films of Depravity in 1966.

When Scotland Yard's John Grieve took me on one of several retrospective visits to what is left of the Ripper crime scenes, our meeting place was the Royal London Hospital, a grim Victorian brick building that doesn't seem to have been modernized much.