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-

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Most of the film takes place in this glass-and-steel monument to Miles’ ego; its postmodern pop-art decor proves that old adage about money not buying taste. Katie Rife, Chron, 22 Nov. 2022 There could be a postmodern argument for saying that this is a new way of absorbing and collaging material together. David Marchese David Marchesephoto Illustration By Bráulio Amado, New York Times, 13 Nov. 2022 This is actual folk horror— none of this postmodern business of irony, winking at the reader, or let’s summon a demon for funsies. Liz Braswell, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2022 But a touch of the Croatian contemporary is not far away: Across the bay, the postmodern wood and glass Grand Park Hotel offers sweeping views of the old port. Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Aug. 2022 The question for viewers, and the central challenge of Wall’s work, is whether these postmodern twists can coexist with the social critique, or fatally subvert it. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021 The Broad Ripple gallery collects, displays and sells Mid-century modern to postmodern art, designer furniture and decor from the 1950s-1980s. Chloe Mcgowan, The Indianapolis Star, 29 Aug. 2022 The film, an adaptation of author Don DeLillo’s highly praised 1985 postmodern novel, stars Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig and marks director Baumbach’s first movie not based on his own original idea. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Aug. 2022 Even now, in the post-postmodern age of football, quarterbacks can excel because of subtleties. Shawn Windsor, USA TODAY, 31 July 2022 See More

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.

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 6 Dec. 2022.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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