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

Although treatments for these disorders remain elusive, postmortem brain tissue offers a key resource for unlocking possible solutions. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "Inside a Brain Bank, Where Humans’ Most Precious Organ Is Dissected and Studied," 21 Aug. 2019 In addition to studying postmortem tissue, imaging methods like MRIs offer alternative tools for investigating neurological conditions. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "Inside a Brain Bank, Where Humans’ Most Precious Organ Is Dissected and Studied," 21 Aug. 2019 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

But if leadership acts, any postmortems will invariably point to action as an instigating factor, regardless of whether that actually proves to be the case. Elizabeth Spiers, The New Republic, "Beyond Pelosi," 24 July 2019 Forensic pathologists who carried out the postmortem on an American biologist whose body was discovered in a Nazi bunker in Greece earlier this week told CBS News her death was far from quick. CBS News, "American scientist murdered in Crete suffered a slow death, forensic pathologists say," 12 July 2019 As a growing number of higher-education institutions find themselves on the brink of a shutdown, however, administrators are getting savvier and more deliberate about schools’ postmortem existences. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The College That Became a Prison," 12 July 2019 Alternatively, the fracture could have developed after death (postmortem). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study concludes 33,000-year-old skull shows signs of blunt-force trauma," 6 July 2019 These observationsare also indicative of an injury that leads to death, as opposed to occurring postmortem. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Paleolithic cold case file: Was this man murdered 33,000 years ago?," 3 July 2019 These insertions are too small to easily locate on a genome-wide basis, so his group looked for larger copy number variations (CNVs) in 110 neurons from postmortem brains. Quanta Magazine, "I Contain Multitudes," 21 Aug. 2014 Many Congolese victims still aren’t presenting at hospitals, with 25 percent of cases only identified in postmortems. Sally Hayden, Time, "Inside the Battle to Save Congo From the Ebola Crisis," 19 June 2019 The pucks postmortem is necessary following the Bruins falling short and getting the short end of some suspect officiating in the series, but so is a reminder of how incredibly blessed Boston sports fans and observers have been since 2002. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "To many, the Bruins’ loss is a rebalancing of the sports universe," 15 June 2019

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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Statistics for postmortem

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

Comments on postmortem

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