posthaste

1 of 3

noun

post·​haste ˈpōst-ˈhāst How to pronounce posthaste (audio)
archaic
: great haste

posthaste

2 of 3

adverb

: with all possible speed

posthaste

3 of 3

adjective

obsolete
: speedy, immediate
requires your … posthaste appearanceWilliam Shakespeare

Did you know?

In the 16th century, the phrase "haste, post, haste" was used to inform posts (as couriers were then called) that a letter was urgent and must be hastily delivered. Posts would then speedily gallop along a route with a series of places at which to get a fresh horse or to relay the letter to a fresh messenger. William Shakespeare was one of the first to use a version of the phrase adverbially in Richard II. "Old John of Gaunt ... hath sent post haste / To entreat your Majesty to visit him," the Bard versified. He also used the phrase as an adjective (a use that is now obsolete) in Othello: "The Duke ... requires your haste-post-haste appearance," Lieutenant Cassio reports to the play's namesake. Today, the word still possesses a literary flair attributable to the Bard.

Examples of posthaste in a Sentence

Adverb ran posthaste for the doctor

Word History

Etymology

Noun

post entry 3

First Known Use

Noun

1545, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

1569, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1594, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of posthaste was in 1545

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Dictionary Entries Near posthaste

Cite this Entry

“Posthaste.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/posthaste. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

posthaste

adverb
post·​haste
ˈpōst-ˈhāst
: with great speed
sent posthaste for the doctor
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