When you retrofit something, you replace old parts with new ones. You might retrofit an antique car with updated brakes and seat belts, for example.

You can use retrofit as a verb, or it can be a noun meaning the new part itself, or something that's added on later. The solar panels on your two hundred year old house are a retrofit, and so is the fancy new stereo in your beat up old car. Retrofit has been around since the mid-1950s, when retroactive and refit were combined into a new word.

Definitions of retrofit

v provide with parts, devices, or equipment not available or in use at the time of the original manufacture

“They car companies retrofitted all the old models with new carburetors”
Type of:
furnish, provide, render, supply
give something useful or necessary to

v fit in or on an existing structure, such as an older house

“The mansion was retrofitted with modern plumbing”
Type of:
instal, install, put in, set up
set up for use

v substitute new or modernized parts or equipment for older ones

“The laboratory retrofitted to meet the safety codes”
Type of:
modernise, modernize, overhaul
make repairs, renovations, revisions or adjustments to

n a component or accessory added to something after it has been manufactured

Type of:
component, constituent, element
an artifact that is one of the individual parts of which a composite entity is made up; especially a part that can be separated from or attached to a system

n the act of adding a component or accessory to something that did not have it when it was manufactured

“the court ordered a retrofit on all automobiles”
Type of:
the act of adding one thing to another

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