post·​mod·​ern | \ ˌpōs(t)-ˈmä-dərn How to pronounce postmodern (audio) , nonstandard -ˈmä-d(ə-)rən\

Definition of postmodern

1 : of, relating to, or being an era after a modern one postmodern times a postmodern metropolis
2a : of, relating to, or being any of various movements in reaction to modernism that are typically characterized by a return to traditional materials and forms (as in architecture) or by ironic self-reference and absurdity (as in literature)
b : of, relating to, or being a theory that involves a radical reappraisal of modern assumptions about culture, identity, history, or language postmodern feminism

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Other Words from postmodern

postmodernism \ ˌpōs(t)-​ˈmä-​dər-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce postmodernism (audio) \ noun
postmodernist \ ˌpōs(t)-​ˈmä-​dər-​nist How to pronounce postmodernist (audio) \ adjective or noun
postmodernity \ ˌpōs(t)-​mə-​ˈdər-​ne-​tē How to pronounce postmodernity (audio) , -​mä-​ also  -​ˈder-​ \ noun

Examples of postmodern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The kindness with which Tarantino treats them—despite or because of their reduction to fetish objects—feels like some kind of postmodern apology for past mistakes. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Quentin Tarantino’s #MeToo Moment?," 1 Aug. 2019 Domini is an enthusiast for experimental and postmodern eminences like John Barth and Steve Erickson, writers whose every sentence was microscopically tweaked for meaning and resonance. Mark Athitakis, Washington Post, "A meditation on race, class — and murder — set in one of Europe’s most storied cities," 13 June 2019 The architect, known for his postmodern buildings, ended up designing more than 800 products over the course of 15 years, spanning everything from toasters to toilet brushes. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Target is bringing back the best of its designer collaborations," 2 Aug. 2019 In 2013, the Trisha Brown Dance Company had to contend with the retirement of its founder, probably the most popular of New York’s postmodern choreographers, who’d had a series of small strokes. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "Can Modern Dance Be Preserved?," 24 June 2019 And not every postmodern building is being ill-treated. Blair Kamin,, "Tigerman's death should serve as a wake-up call: Protect the architecture of the recent past," 7 June 2019 The postmodern novel about a housewife in Ohio is written as one sentence, and is 1,040 pages long. Michael Schaub, Los Angeles Times, "Booker Prize longlist includes Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Valeria Luiselli," 24 July 2019 The idea of using a card mechanic to generate story has precedent—the Italian postmodern writer Italo Calvino generated an entire novel based on drawing from a tarot card deck. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Story Universe of Magic: The Gathering Is Expanding," 21 July 2019 David Chang, whose Momofuku restaurants blew up American restaurant culture and then rebuilt it again in a decidedly hipper, more global, more postmodern form, did something similarly upending with his Momofuku book. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Best Cookbooks of the Century So Far," 14 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'postmodern.' 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 postmodern

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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The first known use of postmodern was in 1916

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English Language Learners Definition of postmodern

: of or relating to postmodernism

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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