One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Cede (territory) back again.‘Spain retroceded the colony to France’
- ‘Spain retroceded the colony to France just prior to Napoleon's sale of the Louisiana territory to the United States in 1803.’
- ‘At midnight, 30 June 1997, Hong Kong was retroceded to PRC sovereignty, an event witnessed by millions around the world via a televised Sino-British ceremony in Hong Kong.’
- ‘The French emperor retroceded Venetia to Italy, fulfilling the promise he had made in 1859 to ‘unify Italy from the Alps to the Adriatic’.’
- ‘There is even a precedent: The Virginia portion of D.C. was retroceded in 1846, no muss, no fuss, and became Arlington County.’
- ‘It's possible that Congress could retrocede all or most of the District to Maryland, just as it retroceded the Virginia part of the District (which originally included a chunk of Virginia) in the 1840s to Virginia.’
Mid 17th century in sense ‘retreat, recede’: from French rétrocéder ‘go back’.
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