Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong


[poh-stern, pos-tern] /ˈpoʊ stərn, ˈpɒs tərn/
a back door or gate.
a private entrance or any entrance other than the main one.
of, relating to, or resembling a postern.
Origin of postern
1250-1300; Middle English posterne < Old French, variant of posterle < Late Latin posterula, diminutive of postera back door, noun use of feminine of posterus coming behind. See posterior, -ule Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for postern
Historical Examples
  • I considered your coachman to be a faithful man, and I told him to wait for you at the postern.

    The Black Tulip Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • He knocked, and presently the postern gaped, and a lantern was advanced.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • As each man did so he had to retire by a postern leading to the sea.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • Cowper assumes a second postern, but there is no evidence for this, and l. 139 ff.

  • If I do but send them a message they will surely come to the postern gate.

    Sir Nigel Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Astonishment robbed me of breath as he threw open the postern.

    The Crossing Winston Churchill
  • "That road leads to the postern gate at the top of the hill," she added.

    The Ghost Breaker Charles Goddard
  • I was peering through the slit in the postern, not twenty feet away.

    The Secret Witness George Gibbs
  • After they had passed the postern, Honey-Bee again asked where they were going.

    Honey-Bee Anatole France
  • This postern was re-edified by William Hampton, fishmonger, mayor, in the year 1472.

British Dictionary definitions for postern


a back door or gate, esp one that is for private use
situated at the rear or the side
Word Origin
C13: from Old French posterne, from Late Latin posterula (jānua) a back (entrance), from posterus coming behind; see posterior, posterity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for postern

late 13c., "back door, private door," from Old French posterne "side or rear gate," earlier posterle, from Late Latin posterula "small back door or gate," diminutive of Latin posterus "that is behind, coming after, subsequent," from post "after" (see post-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for postern

Word Value for postern

Scrabble Words With Friends