pos·​te·​ri·​or | \ pō-ˈstir-ē-ər How to pronounce posterior (audio) , pä- \

Definition of posterior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : later in time : subsequent
2 : situated behind: such as
a : caudal
b of the human body or its parts : dorsal
3 of a plant part : adaxial, superior


pos·​te·​ri·​or | \ pä-ˈstir-ē-ər How to pronounce posterior (audio) , pō- \

Definition of posterior (Entry 2 of 2)

: the hinder parts of the body specifically : buttocks

Other Words from posterior


posteriorly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for posterior

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Posterior comes from the Latin word posterus, meaning "coming after". Posterior is often used as a technical term in biology and medicine to refer to the back side of things, and is the opposite of anterior, which refers to the front side. For example, as more people took up running as a sport, doctors began to see an increase in stress fractures along the posterior as well as the anterior surface of the lower leg bones. In some technical fields, posterior may mean "later". When used as a noun, posterior simply means "buttocks".

Examples of posterior in a Sentence

Adjective the posterior part of the brain the chapel's posterior location in the church serves to make it a quiet retreat Noun The man squeezed his large posterior into the chair. the baseball players were always slapping one another on the posterior
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Hinge your hips then scoop up to get a stretch through the posterior chain on the straight leg side. Perri O. Blumberg, Men's Health, 3 May 2022 Here’s how: Put your pelvis in a posterior tilt and contract your glutes. Outside Online, 28 Jan. 2021 On a swing that generated a home run for High-A Hillsboro, Carroll suffered tears in his right (non-throwing) labrum and posterior capsule. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 27 Apr. 2022 The posterior end of the branching worm can be seen on the surface of the sponge. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 28 Jan. 2022 The exercise program focuses on the posterior chain, particularly the glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles. Cathal Dennehy, Outside Online, 6 Nov. 2021 To work on this, Cavaliere recommends moves that work the glutes through the anterior-posterior motion. Emily Shiffer, Men's Health, 25 Jan. 2022 That produces a powerful lever to propel you forward but requires a strong stride: up on your toes and forward-balanced, driving with calves and posterior chain. Adam W. Chase, Outside Online, 22 July 2021 Collectively known as the posterior chain, this group of muscles runs from the bottom of the skull to the heels and includes the hamstrings, calves, lats, trapezius and glutes. Jen Murphy, WSJ, 11 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Brown shook Grayson Allen so thoroughly on an 18-foot jumper in the first quarter that Allen staggered and his posterior ended up on the parquet. Globe Staff,, 4 May 2022 If that set of bones is well controlled, the tibialis posterior can work eccentrically to smoothly lower your foot to the ground. Jay Dicharry, Outside Online, 13 Mar. 2019 The deltoid muscles consist of three parts: the anterior (front) deltoid, lateral (medial) deltoid, and posterior (back) deltoid. Tyler Hatfield, Men's Health, 26 Apr. 2022 The whitish larvae are C-shaped with a bulbous posterior. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Apr. 2022 This compromises the tibialis posterior and its tendon. Jay Dicharry, Outside Online, 13 Mar. 2019 Philip English imagines a stuffy British bureaucrat parking his posterior on that seat and arguing that humans could never have descended from apes. Mary Carole Mccauley,, 13 Mar. 2022 Somewhere along the way, many of us have lost touch with our intuitive gait and developed inefficient patterns, letting the front of our bodies do the work instead of our powerhouse posterior chain. Esther Smith, Outside Online, 9 Jan. 2022 Madonna's posterior has apparently been a point of controversy in recent years. Sabrina Park, Harper's BAZAAR, 13 Sep. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of posterior


1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1605, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for posterior


Latin, comparative of posterus coming after, from post after — more at post-

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Time Traveler for posterior

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The first known use of posterior was in 1534

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Dictionary Entries Near posterior

poster girl


posterior chamber

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Statistics for posterior

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Posterior.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for posterior


pos·​te·​ri·​or | \ pō-ˈstir-ē-ər, pä- How to pronounce posterior (audio) \

Medical Definition of posterior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: situated behind: as
a : situated at or toward the hind part of the body : caudal
b : dorsal used of human anatomy in which the upright posture makes dorsal and caudal identical


pos·​te·​ri·​or | \ pä-ˈstir-ē-ər, pō- How to pronounce posterior (audio) \

Medical Definition of posterior (Entry 2 of 2)

: a posterior thing or part: as
a : the rear end of a quadruped
b : buttocks

More from Merriam-Webster on posterior

Nglish: Translation of posterior for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of posterior for Arabic Speakers


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