Definition of regressive in US English:



  • 1Becoming less advanced; returning to a former or less developed state.

    ‘the regressive, infantile wish for the perfect parent of early childhood’
    • ‘Those who saw trade favourably previously because it shifted out low-level jobs, now see higher level service jobs being eliminated and worry that the trade is regressive.’
    • ‘These ‘comic’ stereotypes, regressive even in 1968, make the show seem not so much offensive as hopelessly dated.’
    • ‘The regressive aspect of the tax could be offset by ensuring that well subsidised public transport is accessible to communities that are at a disadvantage either through poverty or by living in a rural area.’
    • ‘This would be a regressive step and could lead to a two-tier-system, with those who could afford getting the medicine of the doctor's choice doing so, whereas poorer patients might not.’
    • ‘‘There would be a question in my mind as to whether or not it would be a regressive step,’ said Ms Fennell.’
    • ‘What will make television more diverse, less regressive?’
    • ‘With political power in hand, the clerics passed regressive edicts.’
    • ‘Things get rolling in the early '20s, when animators were taking their cues from the avant-garde art scene that was as progressive as the Nazi culture which crushed it was regressive.’
    • ‘This regressive policy will put immense pressure on the present system.’
    • ‘Here it should also be noted that it is wrong to depict one's religious community as more liberal and progressive and another community as more regressive and backward.’
    • ‘The spirit of vengeance is destructive and regressive.’
    • ‘Lastly, are we really preparing for developed world status, or are we on a regressive path to under-developed status?’
    • ‘Ideologically, they turn in on themselves, becoming more regressive and irrational in their justifications and often more cruel in their political actions.’
    • ‘With new regimes settling in at all three levels of government, there is a pronounced opportunity, and certainly a public appetite, for the reversal of regressive trends around the arts.’
    • ‘‘Some towns have had their reputations damaged by the regressive style of their mayors,’ she says.’
    • ‘We are offering the Bill to the Government in the hope that they will take it on board and run with this rather than their own regressive Bill.’
    • ‘It works extremely well for regressive policy makers.’
    • ‘But we shouldn't carry around an image of a company that is regressive in its treatment of its workers.’
    • ‘He said the possibility of bringing back fees, being considered in a government review of third level funding, could prove regressive.’
    • ‘The tolerant, liberal, egalitarian country which we are now, or at least aspire to be, was only just beginning to struggle out of the austere, regressive, hierarchical society of the post-war years.’
    retrograde, retrogressive, unprogressive, for the worse, in the wrong direction, downhill, negative
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Relating to or marked by psychological regression.
      • ‘Links and colleagues rightly note that modern short-term hospitalizations have few of the regressive dangers that previously existed.’
      • ‘Those writings are largely based upon Freud's assertion that firesetting in youth is a regressive retreat to ‘primitive man's’ desire to gain power and control over nature.’
      • ‘On the whole, the focus is on strengthening the adult sides of the patient and on normalizing the situation instead of focusing on regressive behavior.’
      • ‘Bill was comfortable expressing emotion, but he was also bothered by Jane's persistence in maintaining the above-mentioned regressive behaviors.’
      • ‘There is a genetic predisposition to regressive autism, but I don't think it's a straight genetic problem, because I don't think we would have such a thing as a genetic epidemic.’
      • ‘Excessive clinging, sleeping/eating disorders, regressive behavior, limits testing, manipulation, and wanting to contact parents are common reactions.’
      • ‘There may be genetic factors at work, but in the case of regressive autism, the primary cause has to be intimately introduced; genetics are secondary.’
      • ‘It's an example of infantilism, a regressive desire for boundarylessness, a plea for a love object that never disappoints.’
      • ‘And this is regressive autism; it's not from birth.’
      • ‘There is a regressive longing for the world of the perfectly nurtured child here, which is why speaking of the fallen psychiatrist and patient who act this out literally seems apt.’
      • ‘He explained that science, and even a limited understanding of immunology, could not account for the speed with which some children had apparently acquired the regressive symptoms of autism after being vaccinated.’
      • ‘Erin and Brenna had gone through regressive hypnosis to try and determine what exactly they had both seen.’
      • ‘Apparently, the mother was unable to cope with her own alcoholism, violent domestic situation, and Jane's regressive behavior.’
      • ‘They are regressive, repressive individuals.’
      • ‘A 1998 report described 12 children with inflammatory bowel disorders who developed regressive conditions including autism.’
      • ‘Work with your staff on understanding the regressive behaviors that may be exhibited.’
      • ‘I find their puerile, psychologically regressive child's play boring and self-absorbed, but maybe I just don't understand them.’
      • ‘Illicit substances can produce toxic effects on the brain and also reinforce regressive behavior, a combination that may result in a personality disorder secondary to substance dependence.’
      • ‘These survivors are deformed, regressive, bestial, and held in check by a repressive dictatorship that combines the authority of church and state.’
      • ‘Do not criticize regressive behavior (returning to a previous level of development).’
  • 2(of a tax) taking a proportionally greater amount from those on lower incomes.

    • ‘Of course, in some sense, this is a regressive tax as poorer laborers are probably the least likely to have flexibility in setting their work schedules for the sake of avoiding the higher taxes.’
    • ‘If taxes are regressive, taking a larger share from low-income budgets than from high-income budgets, they will contribute to increased inequality in income and consumption opportunities.’
    • ‘Clearly we are not likely to lower regressive excise taxes on cigarettes, nor are we likely to lower the payroll tax for lower-income workers.’
    • ‘In the very next year, John of Gaunt used the last Parliament of Edward III's reign to institute the most regressive tax ever witnessed in later medieval England.’
    • ‘Washington, which has no state income tax, has one of the most regressive tax systems in the nation.’
    • ‘That's why sales tax is often denigrated as a regressive tax.’
    • ‘It is taxation by the back door, but it is an unequal and largely regressive tax.’
    • ‘The salt tax was severely regressive, since it fell heaviest on the peasants who needed salt to feed to their cattle.’
    • ‘Third, interest payments represent a perpetual income transfer from the working public to the bondholders - a kind of regressive tax that makes the rich, richer and the poor, poorer.’
    • ‘Respondents expressed grievances against the government for clawing back what they viewed as an excessive and regressive tax on tobacco products and for their failure to redirect this income visibly towards those in need.’
    • ‘If he realizes this goal, he will have succeeded in passing the most regressive tax program in U.S. history.’
    • ‘Yes, it's the old regressive tax argument, but it's also common sense.’
    • ‘While I do have somewhat of an issue with the fact that this would be a regressive tax that would fall disproportionately on the poor, the concept is a sound one.’
    • ‘Another blatantly regressive tax system is the social security system.’
    • ‘First, the social security payroll tax is regressive.’
    • ‘Still, properly understood, it's hard to forget how much this regressive tax takes from all of us.’
    • ‘State and local jurisdictions are more vulnerable to tax competition than the national government, and state and local taxes are more regressive than federal taxes.’
    • ‘Three of the states among the ten with the most regressive taxes also made the list of those with the biggest deficits as a percentage of planned state spending.’
    • ‘Atkinson did admit that indirect taxes are largely regressive, and that eliminating them would increase effective disposable income.’
    • ‘Steeply regressive taxation was flattened so that those on high incomes paid considerably less while at the same time the poor were forced to pay more.’
  • 3Philosophy
    Proceeding from effect to cause or from particular to universal.

    • ‘Whilst the first two involve regressive analysis and synthesis, the third and fourth involve decompositional analysis and synthesis.’