post·​mod·​ern ˌpōs(t)-ˈmä-dərn How to pronounce postmodern (audio)
 nonstandard  -ˈmä-d(ə-)rən
: of, relating to, or being an era after a modern one
postmodern times
a postmodern metropolis
: 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)
: of, relating to, or being a theory that involves a radical reappraisal of modern assumptions about culture, identity, history, or language
postmodern feminism
postmodernist adjective or noun
ˌpōs(t)-mə-ˈdər-ne-tē How to pronounce postmodern (audio)
 also  -ˈder-

Examples of postmodern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Recently, some of the world’s biggest pop stars have been eschewing bangers in favor of a more postmodern, self-referential approach to the form. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 3 May 2024 On the way, the percussionists played in the subway exit — a tinny corridor lined with tile — as well as in Kevin Roche’s postmodern lobby of 60 Wall Street (now closed for renovation and likely demolition), before arriving at Federal Hall. Joshua Barone, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2024 The first side was recorded at San Francisco’s Boarding House, a venue that was an early champion of Martin’s postmodern persona, before an audience of 300 people. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 1 Apr. 2024 The hotel’s industrial-chic aesthetic was strikingly contemporary, with postmodern furniture set against raw concrete walls and polished stone floors suggesting a refined Hellenic corner of Brooklyn. Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Mar. 2024 As the Trisha Brown Dance Company continues on without Trisha Brown — the great postmodern choreographer who died in 2017 — the group has staged works on and off the proscenium stage, and even relocated her works to a beach. Gia Kourlas, New York Times, 27 Mar. 2024 Moynahan discovered her growing fame on the show in a very postmodern way. Chris Snellgrove,, 11 Feb. 2024 And Russia is now a postmodern autocracy that can brandish Putin’s still sky-high approval ratings (however skewed) and his inevitable re-election (however undemocratic) as a sign of legitimacy and unquestionable public support for the war. Nathan Hodge, CNN, 11 Mar. 2024 From early on, a crew of theorists, Craig Owens, Douglas Crimp, and Laura Mulvey among them, canonized Sherman as a brow-furrowing, super-serious artist, making work about weighty postmodern concerns. Chris Wiley, The New Yorker, 20 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'postmodern.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of postmodern was in 1916

Dictionary Entries Near postmodern

Cite this Entry

“Postmodern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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