Definition of retrocede in English:



[with object]rare
  • Cede (territory) back again.

    ‘Spain retroceded the colony to France’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The French emperor retroceded Venetia to Italy, fulfilling the promise he had made in 1859 to ‘unify Italy from the Alps to the Adriatic’.’
    • ‘Spain retroceded the colony to France just prior to Napoleon's sale of the Louisiana territory to the United States in 1803.’
    • ‘There is even a precedent: The Virginia portion of D.C. was retroceded in 1846, no muss, no fuss, and became Arlington County.’
    • ‘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.’


Mid 17th century in sense ‘retreat, recede’: from French rétrocéder ‘go back’.