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retrospective Syllabification: ret·ro·spec·tive
Pronunciation: /ˌretrəˈspektiv/

Definition of retrospective in English:


1Looking back on or dealing with past events or situations: our survey was retrospective
More example sentences
  • Fifteen minutes of retrospective interviews with director and writer Polanski, producer Robert Evans and production designer Richard Sylbert offer a lot of history and insight about the film.
  • Does our necessarily retrospective position deform our understanding of the writing process?
  • Thompson retains the lines but abandons their judicial context, thus depriving the play of its retrospective irony.
1.1(Of an exhibition or compilation) showing the development of an artist’s work over a period of time.
Example sentences
  • In 1999 the National Museum of American Art had a retrospective exhibition of the artist's works.
  • These works, part of a bequest from Jochen Schneider, patron and friend of the artist in Kampala, were the specific stimulus for the retrospective exhibition and its catalogue reviewed by Kasfir.
  • The retrospective exhibition will include the artist's earliest work as well as his last projects - photographs that span the last half of the twentieth century.
1.2(Of a statute or legal decision) taking effect from a date in the past: retrospective pay awards
More example sentences
  • The decision in Stafford has retrospective effect.
  • There might be some retrospective legislation and one day they'll come around and take your computers away and name you in the paper.
  • The decision was not retrospective, and existing holders of the Griffith College degree were told they would have to complete the two-year King's Inns diploma course before being allowed to take the exam.


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An exhibition or compilation showing the development of the work of a particular artist over a period of time: a Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective
More example sentences
  • Nowadays, Renaissance artists are rarely given substantial retrospectives; many works of the time were painted on wood and are too delicate to travel.
  • She is also preparing a touring retrospective of Paul Kos, to open in April 2003.
  • I sat as politely as possible through an extended retrospective of her paintings.
look back, reflection, review
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