retardation Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a decrease in rate of change
    deceleration; slowing.
    • the deceleration of the arms race
  2. noun the extent to which something is delayed or held back
  3. noun any agent that retards or delays or hinders
    retardent; retardant.
    • flame-retardant
  4. noun lack of normal development of intellectual capacities
    subnormality; slowness; backwardness; mental retardation.
  5. noun the act of slowing down or falling behind
    lag; slowdown.


Re`tar*da"tion noun
L. retardatio: cf. F. retardation.
  1. The act of retarding; hindrance; the act of delaying; as, the retardation of the motion of a ship; -- opposed to acceleration.
    The retardations of our fluent motion. De Quinsey.
  2. That which retards; an obstacle; an obstruction.
    Hills, sloughs, and other terrestrial retardations. Sir W. Scott.
  3. (Mus.) The keeping back of an approaching consonant chord by prolonging one or more tones of a previous chord into the intermediate chord which follows; -- differing from suspension by resolving upwards instead of downwards.
  4. The extent to which anything is retarded; the amount of retarding or delay.

Webster 1913