af·​ter·​ward | \ˈaf-tər-wərd, ˈaf-tə-\
variants: or afterwards \ˈaf-​tər-​wərdz, ˈaf-​tə-​ \

Definition of afterward 

: at a later or succeeding time : subsequently, thereafter found out about it long afterward

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Synonyms & Antonyms for afterward


after, later, latterly, subsequently, thereafter


afore [chiefly dialect], ahead, antecedently, anteriorly, before, beforehand, earlier, previously

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Examples of afterward in a Sentence

He found out about it long afterward. Afterward, she got a promotion.

Recent Examples on the Web

Pair the leggings with a tank for your yoga class, and then slip on the chevron pullover for brunch afterward. SELF, "Our Favorite Items From the SELF x Beyond Yoga Collaboration," 28 Nov. 2018 Powell went to Eton in the 1920s and afterward to Oxford. Michael Gorra, WSJ, "‘Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time’ Review: Life’s Mysterious Patterned Way," 1 Nov. 2018 Her opponent, Mast, was a reserve in the U.S. Army when the terror attacks occurred and went on active duty afterward. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "US response to 9/11 was 'moment of hypocrisy,' former Obama official running for Congress wrote," 13 Sep. 2018 The dead elephant’s daughter called for days afterward. Sara Benincasa, Longreads, "Remembrance of Folks Past: A Reading List of the Stories We Tell," 22 June 2018 But instead of going on their honeymoon immediately afterward, the new duke and duchess of Sussex instead returned to London. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Make First Official Post-Royal Wedding Appearance," 22 May 2018 Then shortly afterward, Joel’s wife, Moriah Peters, also a singer, faced a serious illness. Jim Asker, Billboard, "For King & Country Are on a 'Passionate Pursuit of Joy' With New Music: Hear Their Lead Single 'Joy'," 18 May 2018 Changing all four tires means undoing 20 of those nuts, then tightening another 20, and more visible nuts make for faster pit stops, as well as making clean up afterward easier. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Open mind, wide open throttle: We go to our first NASCAR race," 15 Nov. 2018 The training will instruct responders to recognize animal distress, deliver the oxygen and how to clean the masks afterward, Sabat added. Leah Brennan, Howard County Times, "Howard County pets in crisis could be breathing easier with new air masks," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'afterward.' 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 afterward

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for afterward

Middle English afterward "behind, in the rear, at a later time," going back to Old English æfterweard "behind, following," from æfter after entry 1 + -weard -ward entry 2; Middle English afterwardes, efterwardes "at a later time," from afterward + -es -s entry 1

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Statistics for afterward

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for afterward

The first known use of afterward was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for afterward


af·​ter·​ward | \ˈaf-tər-wərd \
variants: or afterwards \-​wərdz \

Kids Definition of afterward

: at a later time He found out the truth long afterward.

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Comments on afterward

What made you want to look up afterward? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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