Other forms: retrograded; retrograding; retrogrades

Retrograde describes moving in a backwards or reverse direction. If you're suddenly told that you can no longer vote because you're a woman, that's a retrograde affront to your civil rights. Start protesting!

This word comes from the Latin retrogradus, meaning "going backward." You might hear retrograde used in astronomy to describe the movements of the planets. If a planet like Mercury is in retrograde, that means it appears to be moving backwards. Retrograde can also describe something that's going from better to worse. The farm's retrograde practice of spraying their crops with harsher and harsher pesticides is causing our health to suffer.

Definitions of retrograde
  1. adjective
    moving or directed or tending in a backward direction or contrary to a previous direction
    synonyms: retral
    directed or facing toward the back or rear
  2. adjective
    moving from east to west on the celestial sphere; or--for planets--around the sun in a direction opposite to that of the Earth
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    moving from west to east on the celestial sphere; or--for planets--around the sun in the same direction as the Earth
  3. adjective
    going from better to worse
    synonyms: retrogressive
    opposing progress; returning to a former less advanced state
  4. adjective
    of amnesia; affecting time immediately preceding trauma
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    of amnesia; affecting time immediately following trauma
  5. verb
    move back
    “The glacier retrogrades
    synonyms: retreat
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    type of:
    draw back, move back, pull away, pull back, recede, retire, retreat, withdraw
    pull back or move away or backward
  6. verb
    move in a direction contrary to the usual one
    “retrogr ading planets”
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    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  7. verb
    move backward in an orbit, of celestial bodies
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    type of:
    orb, orbit, revolve
    move in an orbit
  8. verb
    get worse or fall back to a previous condition
    synonyms: regress, retrogress
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    advance, come along, come on, get along, get on, progress, shape up
    develop in a positive way
    drop off, fall back, fall behind, lose, recede
    type of:
    decline, worsen
    grow worse
  9. verb
    go back over
    retrograde arguments”
    synonyms: hash over, rehash
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    type of:
    recap, recapitulate
    summarize briefly
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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘retrograde'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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