Definition of a posteriori in English:

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a posteriori

Pronunciation: /ˌä ˌpästērēˈôrē/ Pronunciation: /ˌā ˌpästērēˈôrī/


1Relating to or denoting reasoning or knowledge that proceeds from observations or experiences to the deduction of probable causes. Compare with a priori.
Example sentences
  • This volume presents the most up-to-date information available on a posteriori error estimation for finite element approximation in mechanics and mathematics.
  • This paper proposes a novel probabilistic variational method with deterministic annealing for the maximum a posteriori estimation of complex stochastic systems.
  • Historically the a priori / a posteriori distinction has been closely associated with that between the innate and the learned.
1.1(Loosely) of the nature of an afterthought or subsequent rationalization.
Example sentences
  • The "author" is an a posteriori rationalization of the text.
  • That's an a posteriori rationalization for "looking nice," if ever there was one, but I'll take the designer at his word.
  • These sentences are called synthetic and they express an a posteriori thought.


1In a way based on reasoning from known facts or past events rather than by making assumptions or predictions.
Example sentences
  • This lays them under a necessity of speaking a posteriori, if I may be allowed the phrase.
1.1 [sentence adverb] (Loosely) with hindsight; as an afterthought.
Example sentences
  • The first thesis states that value generation is now primarily the result of social cooperation; the second that there is no longer a direct link between production and valorization, and that the latter is only realized a posteriori in the financial economy.


Early 17th century: Latin, 'from what comes after'.

Words that rhyme with a posteriori

a fortiori, a priori, memento mori, sori, thesauri, tori

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a pos·te·ri·o·ri

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