[pohst-mawr-tuh m]
See more synonyms for postmortem on
  1. of, relating to, or occurring in the time following death.
  2. of or relating to examination of the body after death.
  3. occurring after the end of something; after the event: a postmortem criticism of a television show.
  1. Medicine/Medical. a postmortem examination; autopsy.
  2. an evaluation or discussion occurring after the end or fact of something: to do a postmortem on the decision of a court.
  3. 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. 2018

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


  1. (prenominal) occurring after death
  1. analysis or study of a recently completed eventa postmortem on a game of chess
  2. See postmortem examination

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

postmortem in Medicine


  1. Relating to or occurring during the period after death.
  1. autopsy
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

postmortem in Culture



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.