There are 2 main definitions of retro in English:

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retro 1

Pronunciation: /ˈretrō/


Imitative of a style, fashion, or design from the recent past: retro 60s fashions
More example sentences
  • The Bandai-published remake delivers the best of both ages, making over retro robot designs with flashy modern animation.
  • They make music that, though heavily steeped in the past, is neither cold nor regular nor retro.
  • The resulting song feels overproduced and too distinctly current, and temporarily hinders the album's retro charm.


Clothes or music whose style or design is imitative of those of the recent past: a look that mixes Italian casual wear and American retro
More example sentences
  • A ‘Top Ten’ for 2004 is tough, so I've come up with a top ten of best viewing experiences, some being retros seen again or for the first time - no real order.
  • The shoes that are retros now were once the newest thing.


1960s: from French rétro, abbreviation of rétrograde 'retrograde'.

  • The fashion term retro is from French rétro, an abbreviation of rétrograderetrograde’ (Late Middle English). This was originally a term in astronomy referring to planets appearing to move in a direction from east to west. It comes from Latin retrogradus, from retro ‘backwards’ and gradus ‘step’. Retro- is also the source of words such as retrospect (early 17th century) from Latin retrospicere ‘look back’ and rear ‘back part’. This was first used as a military term from French arrière ‘behind’, which came from retro. The phrase th'arrear ‘the back’ was mis-analysed as ‘the rear’ and the ‘a’ at the beginning of the word dropped. It was used colloquially to mean ‘buttocks’ from the late 18th century. The other rear,’ to raise up’ and its close relative rise, both Old English, come from an Germanic root, with raise, a Middle English introduction from Old Norse coming from the same source.

Words that rhyme with retro

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There are 2 main definitions of retro in English:

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retro 2

Pronunciation: /ˈretrō/

noun (plural retros)

Short for retrorocket.
Example sentences
  • Air brakes sprang from the hull and the plasma retros fired a controlled burst.
  • One last flash from the retros, and they were motionless.
  • The retros acted as an emergency brake in such instances.
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