retcon n.

in a fictional work or series: a piece of new (and typically revelatory) information which imposes a different interpretation on previously described events, often employed to facilitate a dramatic plot shift or account for an inconsistency; (also) use of this as a narrative device

[< retroactive continuity]

SF Fandom

  • 1989 LSH #4 (Spoilers) in rec.arts.comics (Usenet newsgroup) 22 Dec.

    Wow! Talk about a retcon by another name!… Okay, so Superboy never existed; we'd already figured that.

  • 1993 E. S. Raymond New Hacker's Dict. (ed. 2) 355

    Revealing that a whole season of β€˜Dallas’ was a dream was a retcon.

  • 2006 San Francisco Chronicle (Nexis) 3 June e1

    In terms of retcon, the most preposterous movie franchise is undoubtedly β€˜Highlander’.

Research History
Suggested by Katrin Thier, who pointed out that it has been in use amongst comics fans online since the 1990s: we would like examples in print of any date, including any examples of retcon as a verb.

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.