posterior

1 of 2

adjective

pos·​te·​ri·​or pō-ˈstir-ē-ər How to pronounce posterior (audio)
pä-
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
posteriorly adverb

posterior

2 of 2

noun

pos·​te·​ri·​or pä-ˈstir-ē-ər How to pronounce posterior (audio)
pō-
: the hinder parts of the body
specifically : buttocks

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Miura and his colleagues were expecting the activity of Hox genes to be different in the anterior and posterior of a worm. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 8 Dec. 2023 The worm has organs called gonad primordia on the underside of its posterior end. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 8 Dec. 2023 Differentiating between traumatic memories and sad memories In the study, the team examined whether and how the hippocampus and posterior cingulate cortex differentiate a traumatic autobiographical memory from merely a sad one. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 30 Nov. 2023 The dumbbell deadlift really hones in on your posterior chain, or the backside of your body. Jenny McCoy, SELF, 6 Nov. 2023 Those anterior genes were especially active at the center of each arm, whereas the genetic signatures became more posterior moving out toward the perimeter of each arm. Lori Youmshajekian, Scientific American, 3 Nov. 2023 Deadlifts are an amazing, full-body exercise that really strengthens the posterior chain (and makes those glutes pop!). Erin Warwood, Women's Health, 24 July 2023 Efforts are underway to use deep-brain stimulation to target the posterior end of the hypothalamus to prevent or reduce aggression, for example. Popular Science, 26 Oct. 2023 She was diagnosed with spinal degeneration with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, or OPLL. Eileen Finan, Peoplemag, 23 Sep. 2023
Noun
Dad died, by the way, because Uncle Claudius shoved poison up the royal posterior while the king was trying to relieve himself in the bushes. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 17 Jan. 2024 This was a man who publicly asked to be buried upside down, in order for his many critics to kiss his posterior. Jason Gay, WSJ, 2 Nov. 2023 Roughly a year after BMW caused widespread outrage/mirth by starting to charge customers in some markets $18 a month to warm their posteriors, the German automaker has done a U-turn. Bydavid Meyer, Fortune, 11 Sep. 2023 The Mondo mountain of a male, 32 Chunk, proved his prominent posterior was worthy of a whopping win (Chin up, Chunk). Li Cohen, CBS News, 11 Oct. 2023 When Nakamura repeated the experiment with an enhancer from a shark, the fin growth was unaffected and the fluorescence was limited to the posterior. Viviane Callier, Quanta Magazine, 30 May 2023 Baartman was paraded semi-nude, her posterior exhibited as a curio of sorts for European audiences that could, for a price, touch her body—a sobering symbol of the exploitation and degradation that Black women and their bodies have suffered for centuries. Cady Lang, Time, 10 June 2021 In 2019, Lizzo's VMA set featured a giant inflatable peachy posterior while her backup dancers bent over in an array of assless chaps. Leah Dolan, CNN, 3 May 2023 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, 27 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'posterior.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1605, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of posterior was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near posterior

Cite this Entry

“Posterior.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/posterior. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

posterior

1 of 2 adjective
pos·​te·​ri·​or pō-ˈstir-ē-ər How to pronounce posterior (audio)
pä-
1
: later in time : subsequent
2
: located behind or toward the back
posteriorly adverb

posterior

2 of 2 noun
pos·​te·​ri·​or pä-ˈstir-ē-ər How to pronounce posterior (audio)
pō-
: the hind end of the body
especially : buttock sense 2a

Medical Definition

posterior

1 of 2 adjective
pos·​te·​ri·​or pō-ˈstir-ē-ər, pä- How to pronounce posterior (audio)
: 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

posterior

2 of 2 noun
pos·​te·​ri·​or pä-ˈstir-ē-ər, pō- How to pronounce posterior (audio)
: a posterior thing or part: as
a
: the rear end of a quadruped
b

More from Merriam-Webster on posterior

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