• WordNet 3.6
    • adj retrospective concerned with or related to the past "retrospective self-justification"
    • n retrospective an exhibition of a representative selection of an artist's life work
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Retrospective Having reference to what is past; affecting things past; retroactive; as, a retrospective law. "Inflicting death by a retrospective enactment."
    • Retrospective Looking backward; contemplating things past; -- opposed to prospective; as, a retrospective view. "The sage, with retrospective eye."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • retrospective Looking backward; considering the past.
    • retrospective In law, retroactive; affecting matters which occurred before it was adopted: as, a retrospective act, law, or statute. In general, a penal statute, though expressed absolutely, is construed as applying only to offenses committed after it is passed. See ex post facto.
    • retrospective Capable of being looked back to; occurring in the past; bygone.
    • ***


  • Robert Louis Stevenson
    “The mark of a good action is that it appears inevitable in retrospect.”
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
    “It is the mark of a good action that it appears inevitable in retrospect.”
  • Bob Hope
    “When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things -- not the great occasions -- that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
  • Malcolm Muggeridge
    “In retrospect, all these exercises in self-gratification seem pure fantasy, what Pascal called, licking the earth.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “So much of our time is spent in preparation, so much in routine, and so much in retrospect, that the amount of each person's genius is confined to a very few hours.”
  • Paul Theroux
    Paul Theroux
    “Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. rétrospectif,


In literature:

Every thinker is retrospective.
"Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII" by John Lord
In this retrospection she was clearly conscious of the gradual change that had taken place within her.
"Doctor Pascal" by Emile Zola
If I failed in that great object, I have one consolation in the retrospect of my past services.
"The Explorers of Australia and their Life-work" by Ernest Favenc
Retrospective elucidations are valueless and sometimes irritating.
"Play-Making" by William Archer
What can be more gratifying than such a retrospect as this?
"A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents" by James D. Richardson
For retrospective, sentimental, or philanthropic thoughts she grants no leave of absence.
"Somewhere in France" by Richard Harding Davis
Thus speaks the victor in calm retrospect of the long battle.
"The Americanism of Washington" by Henry Van Dyke
She shook herself impatiently out of that retrospect.
"Big Timber" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
In the mean time a retrospect to my own situation rendered a perseverance even in this industry difficult to be maintained.
"Caleb Williams" by William Godwin
By a retrospective law, Roose was sentenced to be boiled to death, which was done accordingly.
"The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction," by Various

In poetry:

To Acrocorinth's brow I climb,
And, lulled in retrospective bliss,
Descry, as through the mists of time,
Faintly the far Acropolis.
"The Door Of Humility" by Alfred Austin
Then to these hearts I'll sing my lay,
With humble Kelvin for my theme;
My song shall be of life to-day,
And not a retrospective dream.
"Kelvin" by Thomas Frederick Young
Through many a clime 'tis mine to go,
With many a retrospection curst;
And all my solace is to know,
Whate'er betides, I've known the worst.
"Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: A Romaunt. Canto I. " by Lord George Gordon Byron
ASHES of soldiers!
As I muse, retrospective, murmuring a chant in thought,
Lo! the war resumes—again to my sense your shapes,
And again the advance of armies.
"Ashes Of Soldiers" by Walt Whitman
And canst thou, goddess, in thy potent stream,
Bid Retrospection yield its power to thine?
And Memory its sceptre too resign,
Making the past like a forgotten dream?
"To Oblivion" by Charlotte Dacre
On my leaving Clevedale for Barbados. WHEN Memory's sweet and mildly cheering light
Gilds the long retrospect of distant years,
Hope's lucid Star, in clear effulgence bright,
Shines on the prospect of our future cares.
"To Miss Barnes," by Mary Abel Clinckett

In news:

21c presents a mini-retrospective of two new media artists.
The Broken Social Scene member's new LP includes bonus retrospective disc.
Mounting a major Damien Hirst retrospective was never going to be a picnic.
In retrospect, there were many people guilty of that.
Barry McGee's Untitled (2005) comes to Berkeley Art Museum as part of his retrospective.
Listening to this double-disc live recording, captured in Köln in 1994, almost 15 years later, we get a keen retrospective appreciation for what Khan and colleagues were up to, with the benefit of historical hindsight.
In retrospect, there were signs that Lackey 's elbow ligament was under assault for a number of seasons.
Today in our now-and-then retrospective, we share historic photos of Ballard Avenue in 1937.
Gary Oldman, in retrospect : 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' and four more of his essential films (video).
Dynasplint for the management of trismus after treatment of upper aerodigestive tract cancer: A retrospective study.
Fred Berman's retrospective at the University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee.
Ensor, Once Unloved , Gets a Retrospective.
"Underwater Swimmer" (1917) is part of the National Gallery of Art's retrospective on André Kertesz.
Major retrospective at the VAG examines the influential work of Ian Wallace.
In retrospect, George McGovern never had a chance.

In science:

Free probability was not discovered in the context of graph enumeration problems, or by tampering with the cumulant concept, although in retrospect it might have been.
Three lectures on free probability
However, retrospective sampling [Papaspiliopoulos and Roberts, 2008] and slice sampling [Walker, 2007] can both be used to avoid any approximations and deal instead directly with the full model.
Clusters and features from combinatorial stochastic processes
Retrospective Markov chain Monte Carlo methods for Dirichlet process hierarchical models.
Clusters and features from combinatorial stochastic processes
Our data demonstrate that the strength of this component correlates well with radio power, as is perhaps not so surprising in retrospect.
The radio background: radio-loud galaxies at high and low redshifts
Berthiaume, “Quantum computation”, in Complexity Theory Retrospective II, L. A.
New Trends in Quantum Computing