Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for January 30, 2021 is:

retrocede • ret-roh-SEED  • verb

1 : to go back : recede

2 : to cede back (something, such as a territory)


“Under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle, agreed when the United Kingdom retroceded [Hong Kong] to China, the city of 7.5 million has its own legislature and system of laws and courts.” — Amy Gunia, Time, 1 July 2020

“There has long been talk of retroceding the District to Maryland, the state out of which it was carved. That would, theoretically, take D.C. from having no voice to having a minor voice in a state with an already established political base.” — editorial, The Los Angeles Times, 26 June 2020

Did you know?

Retrocede is a 17th-century adaptation of Latin retrocēdere, which was formed by combining the prefix retro-, meaning “back” or “backward,” with the verb cēdere, “to go or move away.” Retrocede has a bit of a twist, however, because cēdere can also mean “cede” (“to yield or assign”) and English cede traces back through French and Latin to this other meaning of cēdere. Other descendants of cēdere include accede, concede, intercede, precede, recede, secede, and even cede itself.

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