af·​ter·​math | \ ˈaf-tər-ˌmath How to pronounce aftermath (audio) \

Definition of aftermath

1 : a second-growth crop

called also rowen

2 : consequence, result stricken with guilt as an aftermath of the accident
3 : the period immediately following a usually ruinous event in the aftermath of the war

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Breaking Down Aftermath

Aftermath dates to the late 1400s and was originally an agricultural term. Its two parts are transparent—but only if you're familiar with an ancient word math that is now used only in British dialectal English and that means "a mowing of a grass or hay crop" and also refers to the crop that is gathered. The original aftermath came, of course, after the math: it was historically the crop of (usually) grass cut, grazed, or plowed under after the first crop of the season from the same soil. It wasn't until the mid-late 1600s that aftermath developed its other meanings, both of which are now far more common than the first.

Examples of aftermath in a Sentence

the surgery was successful, but she now had to deal with its aftermath: a huge bill
Recent Examples on the Web James allegedly escaped the chaotic aftermath aboard a train across the platform and eventually rode the subway into Manhattan, authorities said. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 13 May 2022 Russia seized it early in the invasion, but satellite imagery released by Maxar on Thursday appeared to show the aftermath of missile attacks on a Russian military landing craft near the island. Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 The division is facing far more issues than just the aftermath of the Colangelo scandal. Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 12 May 2022 Starring Jessica Biel as the titular character, the five-episode show follows the aftermath of Betty’s murder and has viewers wondering ... where is Candy today? Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 12 May 2022 The video shows Baldwin holding the gun before the tragic incident as well as the aftermath of the shooting, with Hutchins on the ground surrounded by first responders. CBS News, 12 May 2022 Apple TV+'s newest limited series, Manhunt, will focus on the aftermath of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 11 May 2022 Manhunt — not to be confused with the Discovery/Spectrum Originals anthology series of the same name — is described as a true crime series that delves into the shocking events and aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 May 2022 The aftermath of the incident was captured in several cellphone videos. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aftermath.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aftermath

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aftermath

after- + math "mowing," going back to Middle English *math, going back to a short-vowel variant (perhaps of Germanic date) of Old English mǣþ, going back to Germanic *mēþa- (whence Old Saxon mād- —in māddag "mowing day"—, Old High German āmād "aftermath"), derivative with the nominal suffix *-to- from the base of *mēan- "to mow entry 2"

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Time Traveler for aftermath

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The first known use of aftermath was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Aftermath.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for aftermath


af·​ter·​math | \ ˈaf-tər-ˌmath How to pronounce aftermath (audio) \

Kids Definition of aftermath

1 : a result or consequence She felt tired as an aftermath of the long race.
2 : the period of time following a bad and usually destructive event the aftermath of a hurricane

More from Merriam-Webster on aftermath

Nglish: Translation of aftermath for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aftermath for Arabic Speakers


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