from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Directed or turned backward or downward.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Bent backward or downward.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Bent backward or downward.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In botany and zoology, turned back; directed backward; retral.
  • In ornithology, turned in a direction the opposite of the usual one, without reference to any other line or plane; antrorse. See the quotation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. bent or curved backward or downward


Latin retrōrsus, from retrōversus : retrō-, retro- + versus, past participle of vertere, to turn; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin retrorsus, retroversus; retro back + vertere, versum, to turn. Compare retrovert. (Wiktionary)


  • The fish you really have to watch out for is the candirú, a toothpick-shaped catfish that wriggles into bodily orifices, throws out retrorse spines, and can be removed only through surgery.

    The Gasping Forest


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