A coworker and I are discussing the word "retromingent", which means urinating backwards. We are wondering what the opposite would be: the word that means urinating forwards.

What is the opposite of the prefix "retro-"?

  • 13
    Where on earth did you encounter a situation where you needed to use this term?
    – Fake Name
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 17:52
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    Spiro Agnew used "retromingent" to describe the policies of some of his political opponents which were in his opinion backwards and destructive. One of my coworkers uses it the same way, and it made me wonder what kind of a word we could use to describe policies which are forward-looking, yet still destructive. Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 18:20
  • .... metro? :-)
    – Tomas
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 22:00
  • 1
    I agree with you that pro- and antero- are both worthy answers, with pro- slightly better. Here is better support for pro- than merely a gathering of analogous forms: History of Animals, which I found by Googling. Another indication: Check Google for hits on promingent versus hits on anteromingent.
    – John Y
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 22:21
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    @TomasT. metromingent just means when guys sit down to pee.
    – Andrew Vit
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 2:43

5 Answers 5


Well, retro- comes from Latin, originally meaning backward, back, or behind. Antero- is used in some technical contexts (such as anterograde amnesia) but it's rather uncommon. It literally means before or in front of, as in the related ante- (vs. post-).

You might be looking for something more along the lines of pro- (or progre-). In short:

retro- : back :: pro- : forth

  • 11
    Depending on technical context, I would expect pro- to be better understood. It has precedents in words like prograde and retrograde.
    – Andrew Vit
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 16:21
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    But anteromingent sounds so much cooler than promingent. Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 19:32
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    @Andrew Vit: While I think pro- is the appropriate answer, your precedents aren't as strong as they could be since Jon Purdy himself mentions anterograde in his answer.
    – John Y
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 22:06
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    @JohnY I'm not saying antero- is wrong: it's probably better suited for disambiguation of some terms. Generally speaking though, more people will know what you mean by retrograde rather than anterograde...
    – Andrew Vit
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 2:42
  • the convention of retro is predominant while the use of antero is (found to be) either out dated or least used (at least in British English.) Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 19:15

I'd go with antero-:

a combining form with the meaning “situated in front, fore,” used in the formation of compound words
from dictionary.com

  • I like this option. After studying Jon Purdy's answer, though, I think anteromingent would mean urinating in front of oneself, not urinating forward. It's very similar, but has a subtle difference. Still, +1 for the great prefix. Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 18:18
  • Yes very subtle for to arrive before or "in front of" the subject it (excrement) has to in fact be projected forward does it not? Moreover. your definition points to the subject "puddling" before himself to validate anteromingent rather than the actual process of urinating. Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 19:23
  • antero- is more directly opposed to postero- (from ante / post). Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 4:41
  • Retroactively and proactively aren't really used as antonyms. Commented May 30, 2019 at 22:54
  • Isn't this creating more confusion than expected, if we look only at the analogy and what this wikipedia post suggests that ante in Latin means "before" - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ante, so can anyone clarify with clear-cut distinction between ante and retro when both means something before or back-in-time ?
    – Vicky Dev
    Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 16:30

Retro stands for something from yesteryear, most commonly used for style or fashion. In my opinion the antonym in that sense should be "modern" or "prospective".

  • I'm fairly sure the OP was asking for a general prefix, not localized adjectives.
    – Daniel
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 17:14
  • I was also looking for the opposite of a specific word, retromingent. In this word, the retro part does not refer to yesteryear and is not used for style or fashion. Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 17:32
  • I paid attention specifically just to Retro. I am sorry. In this case I would agree with Jon. How about Non Retromingent?
    – Matrika
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 17:50
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    No, I'm specifically looking for a word which would mean urinating forwards. I believe it to be promingent, which is why I accepted that answer. Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 18:16

Definition of AVANT: culturally or stylistically advanced : avant-garde avant jazz

Examples of AVANT readers of this very avant novel should not expect to find much in the way of traditional narrative structure

Origin of AVANT: French avant- fore-, front, from avant before, from Latin abante

Avant is evidently way out of what OP seeks as it denotes "progression" in a possibly "culturally" significant (increasingly figurative and least literal) semantical.


  • -1 Duplicate answer of the -2 answer just below this. Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 23:21
  • This is interesting. To go "en avant" is advancing towards the future. However, "avant" means "before", hence the opposite of the future ! Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 8:23

Maybe avantmingent? You can check what The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says about avant, at: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avant

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