Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Borrowed from Latin retrōspectum, from retrōspicio (to look back at), equivalent to retro- +‎ -spect Compare review.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹɛtɹəˌspɛkt/


retrospect (plural retrospects)

  1. Consideration of past times.
    • 1853, Charlotte Bronte, "Villette":
      My mind, calmer and stronger now than last night, made for itself some imperious rules, prohibiting under deadly penalties all weak retrospect of happiness past; commanding a patient journeying through the wilderness of the present...
    • 1976, Terry Kay, The Year the Lights Came On, 1989 University of Georgia Press edition, →ISBN, page 298:
      Whether, like Colin, in retrospect Willie Lee and Baptist would feel that what has vanished was greater than what was achieved, is not something we can predict.
    Antonym: prospect

Derived terms[edit]



retrospect (third-person singular simple present retrospects, present participle retrospecting, simple past and past participle retrospected)

  1. To look or refer back to; to reflect on.
    • 1800: Alexander Hamilton, Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States - To give a correct idea of the circumstances.., it may be useful to retrospect to an early period.

See also[edit]