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 Iannucci’s organizing idea seems to have been to go postmodern, but stop halfway. Kyle Smith, National Review, "A Punch in the Dickens," 27 Aug. 2020 Out today is the brands latest collection with late legendary postmodern artist Jean-Michael Basquiat. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Dr. Martens Launches Capsule Collection With Jean-Michael Basquiat," 10 July 2020 Better, surely, just to acknowledge that the bad stuff was bad than to try to turn its badness into a postmodern triumph. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "Untangling Andy Warhol," 1 June 2020 The next year, Grand Union, the New York improvisational collective made up of postmodern dance artists, was in residency at Oberlin. Gia Kourlas,, "Nancy Stark Smith, a founder of contact improvisation," 30 May 2020 This admission is a big deal, given the high court has long resisted technology even while deciding comically postmodern cases. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The coronavirus crisis is forcing the US Supreme Court to face its technology problem," 4 Apr. 2020 This postmodern montage of Netflix movie previews is unique upon every viewing, but manages to retain a defining core of hopelessness. Sarah Lazarus, The New Yorker, "Goings On About Home," 29 Apr. 2020 Her selection—featuring gardens and country houses large and small, from the ancient to the lately established—is divided into 17 thematic sections, from topiary, formal and cottage gardens to decidedly postmodern... Barbara Paul Robinson, WSJ, "Spring Books: Gardening," 16 Apr. 2020 The novel is a postmodern take on braving wintry weather, a staple of Russian literature. Daniel E. Slotnik,, "Jamey Gambrell; made Russian writing sing, in English," 11 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for postmodern

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The first known use of postmodern was in 1916

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Last Updated

4 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Postmodern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce postmodern (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of postmodern

: of or relating to postmodernism

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