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

Examples of postmodern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In between is a plot borne of Austen and Richardson that sweeps through the long 19th century of realist sagas, wiggles into Modernism, and ends on a postmodern questioning of the worth of the novel itself. Hillary Kelly, Vulture, "Why the End of Atonement Is a Triumph for Unreliable Narrators," 25 Feb. 2021 Crystalis even takes a swing at a weird, postmodern story, involving cryogenic sleep and a nuclear war in the distant year of 1997, like a capstone of every narrative trope that emblematized the ’80s. Luke Winkie, Vulture, "The 20 Best Games on Nintendo Switch Online," 30 Mar. 2021 Modern and postmodern works are well represented, and below the facility’s hilltop site there’s a lovely 100-acre wooded area along the White River devoted to nature and contemporary installations. Daniel Lee, WSJ, "Submission Is on Exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art," 12 Mar. 2021 Setting aside the silliness of postmodern tropes about the body and whiteness, surely Padilla is aware of the scholarly literature on blacks in the ancient world. Andre M. Archie, National Review, "What Makes the Classics Worth Studying," 27 Feb. 2021 This post-postmodern one-two punch knocked readers on their asses. Hillary Kelly, Vulture, "Why the End of Atonement Is a Triumph for Unreliable Narrators," 25 Feb. 2021 On the surface, the duo’s 2019 debut album, 1000 Gecs, is a prankish, postmodern collage of Skrillex, Mariah Carey, Blink‑182, Nelly, Linkin Park, Kenny Loggins, eurodance, and ska. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Countercultural Sound of the 2020s," 14 Feb. 2021 Collectivism in any guise, including its postmodern progressivist variety, has been historically antithetical to a free society. Andrew A. Michta, National Review, "The Fracturing of the American Ideal," 7 Feb. 2021 In the next two decades, a flurry of popular historical novels considered different facets of early-twentieth-century Turkey through styles less challenging than Pamuk’s and Shafak’s postmodern fictions. Kaya Genç, The New Republic, "When Historical Fiction Is a Crime," 30 Dec. 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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The first known use of postmodern was in 1916

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Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Postmodern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for postmodern



English Language Learners Definition of postmodern

: of or relating to postmodernism

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