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retrospective study

Definition of Retrospective Study

(noun) A study that looks at data from past events.

Example of Retrospective Study

  • Reviewing patients’ medical histories in a city to compare the rates of death among smokers and nonsmokers.

Retrospective Study Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: ret·ro·spec·tive stud·y

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /ret-ruh-spEk-tiv stUHd-ee/
  • British English – /re-truh-spEk-tiv stUHd-ee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˌrɛtrəˈspɛktɪv ˈstʌdi/
  • British English – /ˌrɛtrəʊˈspɛktɪv ˈstʌdi/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: retrospective studies
  • Also called historic cohort study.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Retrospective Study

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “retrospective study.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 6, 2020 (http://sociologydictionary.org/retrospective-study/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

retrospective study. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/retrospective-study/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “retrospective study.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 6, 2020. http://sociologydictionary.org/retrospective-study/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“retrospective study.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 6 Jun. 2020. <http://sociologydictionary.org/retrospective-study/>.