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 Henry had a brain tumor next to his brain stem, on his posterior fossa. The New Yorker, "Rob Delaney on Writing While Grieving and the Real Work of Comedy," 20 Oct. 2019 Yogis also had larger volume in several brain regions, including the hippocampus, critical to memory and emotional regulation, and the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex, involved in attention and self-awareness. Fran Smith, National Geographic, "Why our fast-paced society loves yoga," 17 Dec. 2019 My orthopedist only performs posterior hip replacements! Hermine Saunders,, "Saunders: Facing preparation for surgery can be formidable, agonizing," 8 Dec. 2019 Since then, of course, Alabama fans learned the worst: Tagaovailoa suffered a dislocated hip and a posterior wall fracture that ends his junior season and put his football career in jeopardy. Josh Bean |, al, "What does Tyrone Prothro think of Tua’s injury?," 19 Nov. 2019 By early evening on Saturday, the injury was revealed to be a dislocated hip with a posterior wall fracture, ending the junior's season. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Winners and losers from Week 12 in college football led by Georgia, Michigan, Alabama," 17 Nov. 2019 The side effect is called posterior capsule opacification, also known as a secondary cataract. Harvard Health Letter,, "Are you at risk for a secondary cataract?," 7 Nov. 2019 Her marathon hike on Sept. 21 won’t just be a celebration of her turning 50 the next day and still having the stamina to complete an endurance trek, but of doing after a posterior hip replacement and a pelvic bone implant. Erika Butler,, "Monkton woman hiking 26.2 miles in California to celebrate birthday, change perception of cancer," 20 Sep. 2019 Hill suffered a posterior sternoclavicular joint dislocation in last week's game. Mark Inabinett |, al, "State NFL Roundup: Kwon Alexander busy in 49ers’ win," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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 Women wearing low cut shirts or shorts that barely covered their posteriors. Micaela English, Town & Country, "19 Things You Should Never Wear While Traveling," 1 Oct. 2018 The posterior featured a skin of LED lights that would illuminate in the club’s blue and orange colors, taking inspiration from Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena in the German Bundesliga., "FC Cincinnati announces timeline for West End stadium, to unveil new design," 29 June 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

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Posterior.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 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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Comments on posterior

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


to express in a more acceptable way

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