Definition of retroactive in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɛtrəʊˈaktɪv/


(Especially of legislation) taking effect from a date in the past: a big retroactive tax increase
More example sentences
  • The legislation isn't retroactive, so even if the bill is adopted, borrowers who have already consolidated won't be affected.
  • As the Respondent's income has declined since separation, in my view it is appropriate that this amount be retroactive from the date of separation.
  • That order had also addressed the applicant's claim for retroactive spousal support, and costs.



Pronunciation: /ˌrɛtrəʊˈakt/
Example sentences
  • The new patent would retroact on them and expose them to penalties to which they were not liable when the act was committed.
  • These detailed archaeological and ethnological studies have retroacted upon the theories of anthropology.


Pronunciation: /ˌrɛtrəʊˈakʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • A retroaction of the current law would allow an unprecedented number of lots to be created and subsequently developed causing a dramatic land use change.
  • It follows, therefore, that the petitioners' assertion for the retroaction of their claim for back salaries and other benefits effective July 1, 1989 as a result of the reclassification of their positions in 1996 cannot be given due course for want of legal basis.


Pronunciation: /rɛtrəʊakˈtɪvɪti/
Example sentences
  • The prohibition on retroactivity of laws finds early expression in the Constitution of the United States 1787 and in the earlier Declarations of Rights adopted by various North American colonies.
  • The Respondent has more income available to him than at the time of the original order and no longer has a spousal support obligation so I do not see retroactivity as an unfair extra burden.
  • In so far as these decisions appear to extend the statutory wording, are they objectionable on grounds of retroactivity and lack of fair warning, or defensible as applications of existing common law doctrine to new situations?

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: retro|active

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