postmortem

adjective
post·​mor·​tem | \ ˌpōs(t)-ˈmȯr-təm How to pronounce postmortem (audio) \

Definition of postmortem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : done, occurring, or collected after death postmortem tissue specimens
2 : following the event

postmortem

noun

Definition of postmortem (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : an analysis or discussion of an event after it is over

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Synonyms & Antonyms for postmortem

Synonyms: Adjective

posthumous

Synonyms: Noun

autopsy, necropsy, postmortem examination

Antonyms: Adjective

antemortem

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Did You Know?

Post mortem is Latin for "after death". In English, postmortem refers to an examination, investigation, or process that takes place after death. A postmortem examination of a body (often simply called a postmortem) is often needed to determine the time and cause of death; the stiffening called rigor mortis is one postmortem change that doctors look at to determine when death occurred. Today we've come to use postmortem to refer to any examination or discussion that takes place after an event.

Examples of postmortem in a Sentence

Adjective

postmortem tests on the brain tissue of people who had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease

Noun

A postmortem showed that the man had been poisoned. Party leaders are conducting a postmortem of the election to try to find out what went wrong.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Nearby, the researchers also found skulls apparently stuck together with mortar—remnants of one of the towers flanking the tzompantli, where most skulls once exhibited on its posts ended their postmortem journey. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018 Last year, Jeff Iliff, a neuroscientist at Oregon Health & Science University, and several colleagues examined postmortem tissue from 79 human brains. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "Major finding in human anatomy has implications for many brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s," 21 May 2017 Last year, Jeff Iliff, a neuroscientist at Oregon Health & Science University, and several colleagues examined postmortem tissue from 79 human brains. David Kohn, Washington Post, "When scientists saw the mouse heads glowing, they knew the discovery was big," 21 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some images in their Instagram feed show Dalton with a postmortem alien glaze complete with lavender pallor and fully green eyes, and with butterflies applied to her face. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Watch Fecal Matter’s Extreme, 3-Hour Beauty Routine in 7 Minutes," 28 Mar. 2019 In 2011, a researcher did a postmortem analysis of 426 Japanese-American residents of Hawaii, about half of whom had been diagnosed with some form of dementia, typically Alzheimer’s. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 Watch or not, you will be deluged by postmortems, hot takes, tweets, TV segments and panel debates. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Why You Shouldn't Watch Trump's Oval Office Address Tonight," 8 Jan. 2019 The book is framed as a postmortem of the 2016 presidential election, but is in fact a sweeping account of the big picture in American politics over the last several decades. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 For replication purposes, the researchers performed their experiments on two different cohorts of postmortem brains collected by different labs. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Autism involves a large-scale reduction in RNA editing," 21 Dec. 2018 In pictures and in public the family appeared to be an emblem of warmth, love, and protection, but postmortem accounts of the Hart Tribe, as many called them, paint a very different picture. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 1: Fear," 4 Dec. 2018 But Bonsall says bone collagen is relatively resistant to postmortem alteration. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 The postmortems diagnosing what went wrong for Nebraska football in recent years can be almost as draining for the players as the on-field losses themselves. Bruce Feldman, SI.com, "Scott Frost's Plan to Lead Nebraska out of the Darkness," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'postmortem.' 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 postmortem

Adjective

1824, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for postmortem

Adjective

Latin post mortem after death

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Time Traveler for postmortem

The first known use of postmortem was in 1824

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More Definitions for postmortem

postmortem

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of postmortem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

medical : happening after death

postmortem

noun

English Language Learners Definition of postmortem (Entry 2 of 2)

medical : an examination of a dead body to find out the cause of death
: a discussion or analysis of something (such as an event) after it has ended

postmortem

adjective
post·​mor·​tem | \ (ˈ)pōst-ˈmȯrt-əm How to pronounce postmortem (audio) \

Medical Definition of postmortem

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: done, occurring, or collected after death postmortem tissue specimens

postmortem

noun

Medical Definition of postmortem (Entry 2 of 3)

post-mortem

adverb
post-mor·​tem

Medical Definition of post-mortem (Entry 3 of 3)

: after death seven cases examined post-mortem

post mortem

adjective
post mor·​tem | \ ˌpōst-ˈmȯr-təm\

Legal Definition of post mortem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: done, occurring, or collected after death

post mortem

noun

Legal Definition of post mortem (Entry 2 of 2)

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More from Merriam-Webster on postmortem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for postmortem

Spanish Central: Translation of postmortem

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about postmortem

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