post·​mod·​ern | \ˌpōs(t)-ˈmä-dərn, 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 \ noun
postmodernist \ ˌpōs(t)-​ˈmä-​dər-​nist \ adjective or noun
postmodernity \ ˌpōs(t)-​mə-​ˈdər-​ne-​tē , -​mä-​ also  -​ˈder-​ \ noun

Examples of postmodern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Lee’s point was not to quote or deconstruct in a hip postmodern vein (like Quentin Tarantino), but to highlight the complex struggle of morality suggested by Preacher’s sermon. Carlos Valladares, San Francisco Chronicle, "Waking up to the genius of ‘The Night of the Hunter,’ showing at the Stanford," 23 Apr. 2018 Our postmodern, post-Marxist (left-wing, liberal, politically correct) era has lost touch with this duality. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "The religious hunger that drives Jordan Peterson’s fandom," 1 June 2018 In contrast to Smith, however, who in postmodern fashion slices, dices and shuffles his history, Hughes-Hallett takes a more modernist approach by embedding her story inside a frame. John Vernon, New York Times, "Two Novels Trace Parallels Between Past and Present, or Create Them," 16 Feb. 2018 Built in 1983, the 780-foot tall building was designed by Johnson-Burgee Architects and is the first real example of postmodern architecture construction in downtown Houston. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "Texans name Houston's Bank of America Center the state's most beautiful building," 11 July 2018 PerformanceDance trilogy explores Asian stereotypes Imagery’s eight dancers are imbued with the refinement and ethereal extension of ballet training as well as in-the-dirt postmodern rawness. Claudia Bauer,, "SF choreographer Amy Seiwert’s risky Sketch lab pays off," 29 June 2018 Damsel’ is a deadpan art-western prank, a sly fusion of classical technique and postmodern sensibility. Mark Olsen,, "Indie Focus: Finding new paths in 'Damsel,' 'Half the Picture' and 'Eating Animals'," 24 June 2018 The Off-White Low 2.0s take a silhouette that’s reminiscent of a retro tennis sneaker, and gussy things up with plenty of Virgil Abloh's postmodern flair. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "These Off-White Sneakers Look Mighty Familiar—and They're Not Even Sold Out," 12 June 2018 Ultimately, football, just like the rest of the sports-entertainment complex, enacts a very postmodern battle between narrative closure and narrative chaos. Elif Batuman, The New Yorker, "A Public Defender’s Polyphonic Novel of Football and Social Justice," 30 Apr. 2018

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

29 Oct 2018

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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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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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