post·​bel·​lum | \ ˌpōs(t)-ˈbe-ləm How to pronounce postbellum (audio) \

Definition of postbellum

: of, relating to, or characteristic of the period following a war and especially following the American Civil War

Examples of postbellum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This was the dawning of a new and fragile postbellum pluralism, grounded not in pure reason but in mutual détente. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "What Thomas Jefferson Could Never Understand About Jesus," 28 Dec. 2020 The pair launched their House of Aama label in 2015 to explore the maternal ties that have bound African American and diasporic families, starting with the folklore of the postbellum South. Alex Harrington, Vogue, "19 Designers—From Household Names to Emerging New Talent—On The Power of Partnership," 28 Oct. 2020 But to millions of other Americans, the flag is a source of anguish as a symbol of a war ignited by the South's desire to save slavery and due to its postbellum adoption by the Ku Klux Klan. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "NASCAR, Confederate flags, and the pace of change in America," 16 June 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of postbellum

1874, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for postbellum

Latin post bellum after the war

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about postbellum

Time Traveler for postbellum

Time Traveler

The first known use of postbellum was in 1874

See more words from the same year

Statistics for postbellum

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Postbellum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Comments on postbellum

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!