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

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Other Words from posterior


posteriorly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for posterior

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Did You Know?

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending dislocated hip with a posterior wall fracture that required surgery in NOvember. oregonlive, "Justin Herbert favored over Tua Tagovailoa to be second quarterback selected in 2020 NFL draft," 22 Apr. 2020 The posterior tail is thinner and more flexible, acting like a rudder. National Geographic, "Reconstructing a gigantic aquatic predator," 29 Apr. 2020 Such difficulty can result in moments of posterior-clenching horror. Robin George Andrews, New York Times, "Antarctica vs. Science," 2 May 2020 In addition to the hip dislocation and fractured posterior wall that ended his junior campaign, Tagovailoa also underwent two ankle surgeries in less than a year and suffered other ailments. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Boom or bust: Jordan Love, Justin Herbert 15 riskiest prospects in 2020 NFL draft," 10 Apr. 2020 The medical evaluation is especially important for presumed top-five pick Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered a dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture in mid-November. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Colts at combine: Who is evaluating QBs and how they'll do it," 24 Feb. 2020 Featuring a bidet that includes posterior and feminine washing options with adjustable water pressure, high-efficiency flushing that is both powerful and quiet), and a warm air dryer. Popular Science, "High-tech toilets that are flush with features," 18 Mar. 2020 Hill had sustained a posterior sternoclavicular joint dislocation in Kansas City’s season-opening game and missed the next four contests. Mark Inabinett |, al, "State players dot NFL’s top 100 plays of 2019," 18 Feb. 2020 Outdoor athletes tend to be quad dominant already and lack control of the posterior chain (the muscles along the back of the leg), says Stabler. 2. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "The 4 Most Common Mistakes Made While Lunging," 11 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The first quarter closed with Ionescu getting fouled by UW’s Amber Melgoza with 3.4 seconds and the Ducks guard delivering the Huskies’ leading scorer a kick to the posterior, which officials reviewed and assessed an intentional foul. oregonlive, "Oregon women’s basketball routs Washington, ends regular season on 16-game win streak," 1 Mar. 2020 The work’s title appears in big red letters at the bottom of the painting, below a close-up of a naked female posterior that’s framed by a trompe l’oeil proscenium arch. Karen Rosenberg, New York Times, "Overlooked No More: Pauline Boty, Rebellious Pop Artist," 20 Nov. 2019 This will be the right position at which to hold your posterior while skiing. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "5 exercises that will prep your body for a ski trip," 18 Jan. 2020 That product is one of those used in cosmetic surgery to plump lips and posteriors, fill cellulite dimples and enhance penises. Los Angeles Times, "In the rush to harvest body parts, death investigations have been upended," 13 Oct. 2019 Despite a two-year dormancy period for the football program, the budding rivalry between UAB and Louisiana Tech was alive and well in building tension as tight as a gnat’s posterior. Evan Dudley, al, "UAB welcomes Louisiana Tech for crucial division showdown," 20 Nov. 2019 The memoirs are artfully revealing — Cameron both covers his posterior and concedes some mistakes — of strategy and timing, mostly. Washington Post, "Former British prime minister Cameron admits failure on Brexit vote, says Johnson misled voters," 14 Sep. 2019 The galley shows a variety of wild animals (including the posterior of a mountain goat) that are presumably native to the Mount Rushmore State. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Come Take a Tour of America's Newest Nuclear Submarine," 7 Jan. 2019 The two apparently saw a lot more of each other while making Legacy—in fact, Elliott's bare posterior in the film was lauded in The Bare Facts, a guide to nudity in film, according to his International Movie Database profile. Samantha Drake, Country Living, "Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross Are One of Hollywood's Most Enduring Couples," 4 Oct. 2018

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.

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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

Time Traveler

The first known use of posterior was in 1534

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Statistics for posterior

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Posterior.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for posterior


How to pronounce posterior (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of posterior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

technical : near or toward the back of something (such as the body)


How to pronounce posterior (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of posterior (Entry 2 of 2)

humorous : the part of the body above the legs that is used for sitting


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

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