Definition of regressive in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈɡresiv/


1Becoming less advanced; returning to a former or less developed state: the regressive, infantile wish for the perfect parent of early childhood
More example sentences
  • Lastly, are we really preparing for developed world status, or are we on a regressive path to under-developed status?
  • The regressive aspect of the tax could be offset by ensuring that well subsidised public transport is accessible to communities that are at a disadvantage either through poverty or by living in a rural area.
  • Here it should also be noted that it is wrong to depict one's religious community as more liberal and progressive and another community as more regressive and backward.
1.1Relating to or marked by psychological regression.
Example sentences
  • Those writings are largely based upon Freud's assertion that firesetting in youth is a regressive retreat to ‘primitive man's’ desire to gain power and control over nature.
  • There is a regressive longing for the world of the perfectly nurtured child here, which is why speaking of the fallen psychiatrist and patient who act this out literally seems apt.
  • Links and colleagues rightly note that modern short-term hospitalizations have few of the regressive dangers that previously existed.
2(Of a tax) taking a proportionally greater amount from those on lower incomes.
Example sentences
  • Clearly we are not likely to lower regressive excise taxes on cigarettes, nor are we likely to lower the payroll tax for lower-income workers.
  • Atkinson did admit that indirect taxes are largely regressive, and that eliminating them would increase effective disposable income.
  • Washington, which has no state income tax, has one of the most regressive tax systems in the nation.
3 Philosophy Proceeding from effect to cause or from particular to universal.
Example sentences
  • Whilst the first two involve regressive analysis and synthesis, the third and fourth involve decompositional analysis and synthesis.



Pronunciation: /rəˈɡresivlē/
Example sentences
  • His original proposition - cut taxes regressively, double military spending, shrink government and balance the federal budget - looked cockeyed from the start.
  • We had a referendum on this issue four years ago and I don't think the Australian people want to regressively revisit it in the near future.
  • The majority also want a fair tax system that progressively taxes income, not regressively taxes consumption.


Pronunciation: /rəˈɡresivnəs/
Example sentences
  • He has spoken well of the Alaska arrangement for citizen dividends from petroleum, and if that is implemented it will more than make up for the regressiveness of the new tax system.
  • Moreover, the supposed regressiveness of cigarette taxes - since smokers are disproportionately poor - can vanish in this model.
  • The protégés, in power in the Yangzi area, sought to check the regressiveness of the land-tax assessments by abolishing the privileges legally enjoyed by the greater gentry families.

Words that rhyme with regressive

aggressive, compressive, concessive, degressive, depressive, digressive, excessive, expressive, impressive, obsessive, oppressive, possessive, progressive, recessive, repressive, retrogressive, successive, transgressive

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·gres·sive

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