[pohst-mawr-tuh m]


of, relating to, or occurring in the time following death.
of or relating to examination of the body after death.
occurring after the end of something; after the event: a postmortem criticism of a television show.


Medicine/Medical. a postmortem examination; autopsy.
an evaluation or discussion occurring after the end or fact of something: to do a postmortem on the decision of a court.
Cards. a discussion of the bidding or playing of a previous hand.

Origin of postmortem

First recorded in 1725–35, postmortem is from the Latin word post mortem after death Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for postmortem

Contemporary Examples of postmortem

Historical Examples of postmortem

  • It seemed to me wed done something worth sittin around an havin a postmortem about.

  • They had ceased to be factors in the equation; they were 'non est' in the postmortem history of John Grier.

  • The doctor and the wife held a postmortem examination of the hat, and found the slice of Limberger.

    Peck's Sunshine

    George W. Peck

  • Other authors have failed to demonstrate similar lesions, or have considered them due to postmortem change.

    Scurvy Past and Present

    Alfred Fabian Hess

  • There was extensive hemorrhage into the brain, as shown by postmortem examination, the cerebral vessels being atheromatous.

British Dictionary definitions for postmortem



(prenominal) occurring after death


analysis or study of a recently completed eventa postmortem on a game of chess

Word Origin for postmortem

C18: from Latin, literally: after death
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

Medicine definitions for postmortem




Relating to or occurring during the period after death.


The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture definitions for postmortem



Autopsy; figuratively, any analysis that follows an event: “When the convention is over, we'll have a postmortem to find ways of improving it for next year.” From Latin, meaning “after death.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.