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 The nozzle offers a vortex water stream, a posterior wash, and a soft feminine wash with bubble infusion technology. Stack Commerce, Popular Science, "Increase your personal hygiene with the most advanced bidet on the market," 20 Dec. 2020 Shoulder pains continued until he was further diagnosed in 2019 with 'posterior labral tear of his left shoulder,' which means that the cartilage around his left shoulder joint has been torn. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "BTS's Suga Gives Update After Shoulder Surgery and Thanks ARMY for Support," 9 Nov. 2020 Last November after taking a hit against Mississippi State, his right hip was dislocated and his posterior wall was fractured. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Chargers’ Herbert ahead of Tua, but Dolphins rookie QB gets win in first start," 1 Nov. 2020 The universal posterior wash works for anyone, regardless of gender. Popular Science, "Transform your toilet with this bidet and night light for $49.99," 29 Oct. 2020 Tagovailoa will also likely endure the first live hit (maybe hits) to his body since his last, which resulted in a hip dislocation and posterior wall fracture in his final college game at Alabama on Nov. 16, 2019. Safid Deen,, "Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa ready to take first hit since his last, and how he’s prepared for his first NFL start," 28 Oct. 2020 Ecchymosis on the posterior surface of the right and left thighs. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "In Belarus, Torture Allegations Dog Lukashenko as He Tries to Hold On to Power," 4 Sep. 2020 Ecchymosis on the posterior surface soft tissues of the right thigh and left shin. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "In Belarus, Torture Allegations Dog Lukashenko as He Tries to Hold On to Power," 4 Sep. 2020 Was there a tell that the right hip dislocation, which had a fracture to the posterior wall surgically repaired last November, hasn’t fully healed? Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: Tua Tagovailoa should be Dolphins’ No. 2 QB now that hip concerns are in his past | Commentary," 2 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But her new implants — gifts — made her much cheerier, And lifted Gramps, her pants and her posterior. Washington Post, "Style Invitational Week 1416: The Year in Redo, Part 2," 23 Dec. 2020 What’s more, its nozzle system includes a signature vortex water stream, excellent posterior wash, and softer feminine wash with bubble infusion technology. Popular Science, "Here are the top 25 deals from the PopSci Shop from this week," 22 Oct. 2020 The lower portion of the tibia forms the roof and medial (inside) of the ankle, while the lower portion of the fibula forms the lateral (outside) and posterior (back) of the ankle. Ellen J. Horrow, USA TODAY, "Explaining Cowboys QB Dak Prescott's compound fracture and ankle dislocation," 12 Oct. 2020 For those not down with the current vernacular, Finebaum said the Big Ten is covering your posterior. Mark Heim |, al, "Paul Finebaum calls Big Ten playing ’a lot of cya’ing,’ says it shows what public pressure can do," 17 Sep. 2020 Turns out 1973 was a reminder that just when things seem to be going great, disruption comes to bite us on the posterior. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, "This historic fire lookout has stood near Flagstaff since 1939. Here's how to hike to it," 29 Aug. 2020 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

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

29 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Posterior.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on posterior

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