Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to hindsight: hindsight is 20/20
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

Foresight is better than hindsight.

cliché It is better to anticipate and prevent future problems than to realize how they could have been avoided after the fact. If I were you, I would pay the extra $50 for full insurance coverage while you're traveling. You never know what might happen, and foresight is better than hindsight.
See also: better

hindsight is (always) 20/20

It is easier to clearly reevaluate past actions or decisions than when they are being made or done; things are clearer or more obvious when they are reflected upon. A reference to the visual acuity of normal eyesight (20/20 vision). I can see now that having my brother as my legal counsel was unwise, but I guess hindsight is always 20/20. A: "I can't believe I was ever interested in such a self-absorbed jerk." B: "Don't blame yourself. Hindsight is 20/20, after all."
See also: 20, hindsight

in retrospect

Considering or analyzing the past, with the knowledge that one has now. In retrospect, we shouldn't have invested so heavily in one sector, but there's no way we could have known about some of the risks. It's one of those lessons that you can really only learn in retrospect.

in retrospect

 and in hindsight
reconsidering the past with the knowledge one now has. In retrospect, I would have gone to a better college. David realized, in hindsight, that he should have finished school.

in retrospect

Looking backward, reflecting on the past. For example, In retrospect, he regarded his move as the best thing he'd ever done. This idiom employs retrospect in the sense of "a view of the past." [Second half of 1600s]

twenty-twenty hindsight

Knowledge after the fact, as in With twenty-twenty hindsight, I wouldn't have bought these tickets. This idiom uses twenty-twenty in the optometrist's sense, that is, "indicating normal vision," and hindsight in the sense of "looking back" or "reconsidering." [First half of 1900s]
See also: hindsight

in ˈretrospect

thinking about a past event or situation, often with a different opinion of it from the one you had at the time: In retrospect, I think that I was wrong.The decision seems extremely odd, in retrospect.

twenty-twenty hindsight

and 20/20 hindsight
n. an ability to figure out what one should have done after it is too late to do it. Everybody has twenty-twenty hindsight!
See also: hindsight

20/20 hindsight

See also: 20, hindsight

in retrospect

In looking back on or reviewing the past.
References in periodicals archive ?
The researchers have also explained that everyone experiences disappointment and regret from time to time, but people with depression struggle to control negative feelings and hindsight bias.
8220;A short brief was all it took for Hindsight to understand our organisation and create something unique out of the box for our annual conference invitation.
In the past, our social reaction to new technologies has generally occurred in hindsight after a technology has become well established in the marketplace.
One of the changes in the recount was that Academy Award nominee Aghdashloo in hindsight was voted Best Actress for her role in the 2003 film "House of Sand and Fog," stealing the award from Oscar winner Renee Zellweger, who won the award that year for her role in the Civil War film "Cold Mountain.
It was difficult to turn down that job - I did go for it but maybe in hindsight I shouldn't have.
However, the Service has denied most letter ruling requests for MTM-method filing extensions; it believes such extensions permit taxpayers to use hindsight to lower their tax liability, and that relief should be granted only in unusual or compelling circumstances.
In hindsight, we should have more aggressively pulled lessons learned from early fleet do-it-yourself installations in Central Command's area of operations.
A few months ago, with the benefit of hindsight, we produced a booklet about our six-year process of amalgamation, titled Good News-for a Change.
In hindsight, maybe I should have called timeout before I passed midcourt, but nobody does that.
At the heart of the case lies the challenge of how to insulate non-obvious decisions from the distortion of the hindsight bias.
Most importantly, the City is now able to better plan for events like the Septermber 11th attack without being subject to liability based on hindsight.
A welcome scrutiny of history with the advantage of post-Cold War hindsight.
The ads show how Liberty Mutual is financially strong and successful because we think ahead and run our business with foresight rather than hindsight," said Lisa Scannell, vice president of communications support.
Not sure what Tony Hawk had going in '91, but with the benefit of hindsight, it's hard to image it could have inspired a generation as much as that death-defying double kink boardslide.
Yet as much as Le Va's early work was seen to be representative of its art-historical context, with hindsight it seems that the materialist or structuralist readings predominant in the late '60s failed to account for the deeper, metaphorical content of the work.