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What is the opposite of the word prediction? I thought of retrospect but that refers to events that already happened.

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Can you give an example sentence you want to use the word in? –  Matt Эллен Aug 8 '11 at 21:35
    
Here is the exact situation. I make a "prediction" of something I already know happened(for example, suggesting the close price of the market after it already closed). Another person responds "a nice prediction =)"... However it's really a prediction, but seemingly opposite of that. I'm looking for the term for that –  crazyyyyyyyyy Aug 8 '11 at 21:42
    
It's still a prediction, then. Your prediction came true, so it was a good prediction. –  simchona Aug 8 '11 at 21:46
    
Is it a statement about the past that one expects mus have happened based on current data? Or is it something else? –  Mitch Aug 8 '11 at 22:32
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I think the context (finally given in the second comment, not the question) makes this question a bit funny peculiar. As opposed to funny haha when Becks bet Posh that a guy they were watching on tv news wouldn't actually jump off a tall building. He'd heard it earlier on the radio, so he knew the result. The guy duly jumped, and Posh paid up. But then Becks confessed about the radio report and gave the money back. Posh said "Why did you bet if you knew?", and Becks said "I just never thought he'd do it twice". Now that's an antonym for prediction! –  FumbleFingers Aug 8 '11 at 23:54
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5 Answers 5

up vote 17 down vote accepted

The OED lists retrodict as:

state a fact about the past based on inference or deduction, rather than evidence.

An example of this word being actually used in science:

This conclusion was, then, serendipitous by suggesting that there had been an early event satisfying the specific etiology that Freud had hypothesized for Lorenz's obsessional neurosis. Since this etiology required precocious masturbation events, Freud retrodicted that the patient had been punished by his father for masturbation (...)

Excerpt from Mind and Medicine, page 276. Emphasis mine.

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I think this is probably the right answer. You could also make a case for "recount" (emphasis on the second syllable), I think. –  Chris B. Behrens Aug 8 '11 at 22:36
    
I'm not sure it fits the situation, though. From above: Here is the exact situation. I make a "prediction" of something I already know happened(for example, suggesting the close price of the market after it already closed). Another person responds "a nice prediction =)"... However it's really a prediction, but seemingly opposite of that. I'm looking for the term for that –  simchona Aug 8 '11 at 22:45
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Retrospective (or retrospection), description, report, account, log. All these speak of recording events in the past.

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How about "hindsight":

Hindsight: recognition of the realities, possibilities, or requirements of a situation, event, decision etc., after its occurrence.

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There really is no direct antonym for prediction, in the sense of the definition "to express an outcome in advance". The thesaurus entry does list antonyms for other definitions, however.

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How about "predicting the past"? You are making a prediction, it's just not about the future. Predicting the past is a nice oxymoron that will make your hearers understand exactly what you've done.

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