[pos-chuh-muh s, -choo-]


arising, occurring, or continuing after one's death: a posthumous award for bravery.
published after the death of the author: a posthumous novel.
born after the death of the father.

Nearby words

  1. posthioplasty,
  2. posthitis,
  3. posthole,
  4. posthole digger,
  5. postholith,
  6. posthypnotic,
  7. posthypnotic suggestion,
  8. posthypoglycemic hyperglycemia,
  9. postical,
  10. postiche

Origin of posthumous

1600–10; < Latin postumus last-born, born after the death of the father (in form a superlative of posterus; see posterior); post-classical spelling with h by association with humus ground, earth, as if referring to burial

Related formspost·hu·mous·ly, adverbpost·hu·mous·ness, nounnon·post·hu·mous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for posthumous

British Dictionary definitions for posthumous



happening or continuing after one's death
(of a book, etc) published after the author's death
(of a child) born after the father's death
Derived Formsposthumously, adverb

Word Origin for posthumous

C17: from Latin postumus the last, but modified as though from Latin post after + humus earth, that is, after the burial

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

Word Origin and History for posthumous



mid-15c., "born after the death of the originator" (author or father), from Late Latin posthumus, from Latin postumus "last, last-born," superlative of posterus "coming after, subsequent" (see posterior). Altered in Late Latin by association with Latin humare "to bury," suggesting death; the one born after the father's death obviously being the last. An Old English word for this was æfterboren, literally "after-born." Related: Posthumously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper