Definition of retrospection in English:



  • [mass noun] The action of looking back on or reviewing past events or situations, especially those in one's own life:

    ‘he was disinclined to indulge in retrospection’
    • ‘You might expect any dance organization celebrating its golden anniversary to indulge in a bit of retrospection.’
    • ‘If accounting were ‘only accounting,’ then an organization could not make predictive and prescriptive changes to its functions based on this institutional retrospection, which it surely needs to do.’
    • ‘And the fact that he would have been one hundred years old in January 2004 makes retrospection perfectly appropriate and homage nothing less than proper.’
    • ‘But he said Parliament had approved any measure of retrospection which would enable a judgment to be upset because of the change in the limitation period.’
    • ‘This writer has no nostalgia to blunt the awfulness and isn't capable of the humour that comes with retrospection.’
    • ‘Personification and allegory were also introduced as a new means of expression, although the Athenian School remained famous for its traditional handling of heroic subjects; near the end of the 4th century it is marked by retrospection.’
    • ‘The life of teachers is on ‘fast-track’ and hence, to prevent it from turning mechanical, there is a need for introspection and retrospection.’
    • ‘Despite much mature retrospection, I can't unsay those mean comments to Mom, undo what 18 years of smoking did to my lungs, nor unwrite the cringe-inducing history of my high school social life.’
    • ‘The glorious uncertainties of the city bus services afford ample time for reflection and retrospection for commuters at the bus stops, it is averred.’
    • ‘With the audience rejecting some of type-cast characters played by Mamootty and Mohanlal, it is now time for retrospection for both of them.’
    • ‘Interestingly, Stevenson's fondness for retrospection does not seem to have blinded him but rather to have sharpened his sensitivity to seeing.’
    • ‘The past is therefore not bathed in the light of retrospection, but is presented in the ordinary, nondramatic tones of immediacy.’
    • ‘Dealing first with the issue of retrospection, Mr Elias expressed the view that the indemnity could not operate retrospectively so as to apply to acts done or decisions made prior to the coming into force of the indemnity.’
    • ‘Aren't these occasions meant to offer works that are new rather than opportunities for retrospection?’
    • ‘Being wise after the fact is so easy that I have saved the broadest retrospection until nearly the end.’
    • ‘Marinetti, described as ‘The Caffeine of Europe’, was setting out to rid European art of its lethargy and retrospection in a new movement that demanded room for youth, violence and daring.’
    • ‘This process, known as dialogic retrospection, helped guide the analysis of the data so as to best reflect the lived experiences of the participants.’
    • ‘While oral-history interviews are inevitably determined by retrospection, letters reflect immediate concerns and retain a proximate link with the past.’
    • ‘He had brought back from Rome thick notebooks and portfolios which he turned into paintings during those years of fervent activity and retrospection.’
    • ‘In the second act, Hamlet immersed himself in fraught retrospection over Ophelia's death.’


Mid 17th century: probably from retrospect (used as a verb).