posterity

noun

pos·​ter·​i·​ty pä-ˈster-ə-tē How to pronounce posterity (audio)
1
: the offspring of one progenitor to the furthest generation
2
: all future generations

Examples of posterity in a Sentence

Her broad aim is to reconcile the image of Johnson—the clubbable man, loved by posterity as well as by his contemporaries—and the man racked by disease and tormented by his fear of madness. Frank Kermode, New York Review of Books, 22 June 2006
Posterity looks for hooks to hang old reputations on … John Updike, New York Review of Books, 15 July 2004
The restructuring of the New York Yankees began five days after that broken-bat bloop by Luis Gonzalez parachuted to posterity behind second base, clinching the World Series for the Arizona Diamondbacks and breaking the Yankees' run of three titles. Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated, 24-31 Dec. 2001
It was puzzling to own trees—they were not owned the way a business is owned or even a house is owned. If anything, they were held in trust. In trust. Yes, for all of posterity, beginning with Merry and her kids. Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997
Posterity will remember her as a woman of courage and integrity. A record of the events was preserved for posterity. The truth about what happened will be known to posterity. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The mind’s eye tries in vain to store away images and sensations for posterity. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2024 While a portion of these texts have been lost to posterity, several of the palm leaf manuscripts are preserved in libraries in India and Nepal. Hasina Khatib, Allure, 5 Jan. 2024 The figure is mostly obscured with the exception of her eyes; a customary feature within Elliot & Erick’s artwork, the eyes remaining present in the image serves as posterity to the history of Cuba’s colonialism and blending of Spanish and West African traditions. Erica Wertheim Zohar, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 That's one of the questions that shark biologists Johan Gustafson and Mariel Familiar Lopez set out to answer, and their initial field work has been documented for posterity in Bull Shark Bandits, part of National Geographic's 2023 SHARKFEST programming. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 16 July 2023 Lou taped more than two-dozen of their conversations for posterity and used them to tie together Queen of Time. Garret K. Woodward, Rolling Stone, 8 Dec. 2023 From Andrew Greif: Bookmark the box score for reference. Mark the date and time for posterity. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 30 Nov. 2023 The 1993 movie about industrialist Oskar Schindler saving the lives of more than 1,000 Jews sharpened Ron’s curiosity about his parents’ ordeal, prompting him to ask them to tell their story for his two daughters, his sister’s three kids and for posterity. Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2023 What is important is that the trial was nonetheless recorded for posterity and, after the Supreme Court denied review last year in a final appeal, it was made available on a federal court’s YouTube channel for citizens and historians to study. Adam Liptak, New York Times, 23 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'posterity.' 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

Middle English posterite, from Anglo-French pusterité, from Latin posteritat-, posteritas, from posterus coming after

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of posterity was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near posterity

Cite this Entry

“Posterity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/posterity. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

posterity

noun
pos·​ter·​i·​ty pä-ˈster-ət-ē How to pronounce posterity (audio)
1
: the line of individuals descended from one ancestor
2
: all future generations

Legal Definition

posterity

noun
pos·​ter·​i·​ty pä-ˈster-ə-tē How to pronounce posterity (audio)
1
: all of the lineal descendants of a person
2
: all future generations

More from Merriam-Webster on posterity

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