Words related to retard
early 15c., retardacion, "fact or action of delaying or making slower in movement or time," from Latin retardationem (nominative retardatio) "a delaying," noun of action from past participle stem of retardare "to make slow, delay, keep back, hinder," from re- "back" (see re-) + tardare "to slow," related to tardus "slow, sluggish" (see tardy).
The psychological sense of "educational slowness, educational progress slower than average for a group" is from 1907, perhaps a back-formation from retarded. For the meaning "act of retarding," retardment also was used (1640s).
1810, "delayed," past-participle adjective from retard (v.). In childhood development psychology, "mentally slow, lagging significantly in mental or educational progress," especially if due to some impairment, attested from 1895 (G.E. Shuttleworth, "late medical superintendent, Royal Albert Asylum, for idiots and imbeciles of the northern counties, Lancaster," perhaps inspired by Italian tardivi). Its application has shifted over the years based on what the progress or lack of it was measured against (peers, a score on IQ tests, etc.), but the progress gap was deemed "significant."
Fashions in labeling this group change almost from year to year; in the 1960s, mental retardation was the favorite appellation, and justifiably so in that it does not imply that inheritance or constitutional defects are always the cause of mental retardation. ["Campbell's Psychiatric Dictionary," 2004]
1550s, "slowness, a making slower, retardation," from French retardance, from retarder (see retard (v.)). It seems to persist in reference to resistance to fire, in which sense it dates from 1921. Related: Retardancy.
1640s, "one who or that which checks or delays," agent noun from retard (v.). Scientific sense of "substance which slows down a reaction" by 1878. Specifically of braking mechanisms by 1937, originally on railroad cars.