Definition of postmortem in English:

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Pronunciation: /pōstˈmôrdəm/


(also postmortem examination)
1An examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death.
Example sentences
  • He insisted that following his death his post-mortem should be performed in front of his own medical staff and published in the local weekly journal.
  • People can object, but if the coroner considers that any delay may limit the ability to determine the cause of death, then the post-mortem will go ahead.
  • The post-mortem revealed that death was due to powerful electric shock, not because of burns.
1.1An analysis or discussion of an event held soon after it has occurred, especially in order to determine why it was a failure: an election postmortem on why the party lost
More example sentences
  • And with everyone back safely from the first run of the event, the post-mortems continue.
  • His performance quickly became the subject of ridicule in media post-mortems of the event.
  • The party will hold its post-mortem on the election and the loss of support in its traditional heartlands.
analysis, evaluation, assessment, appraisal, examination, review


1Relating to a postmortem: a postmortem report
More example sentences
  • The minister said the first report would deal with post-mortem issues in paediatric hospitals.
  • A post-mortem report records that she died from pulmonary barotrauma, which causes air bubbles to circulate in the arterial system.
  • A post-mortem study of the animals showed a robust growth of neurons and an increase in neurotransmitters in the spinal cords of rats that received the transplanted neuronal cells.
1.1Happening after death: postmortem changes in his body [as adverb]: assessment of morphology in nerves taken postmortem
More example sentences
  • A third controversy concerns attempts to show that even if the dead cannot be harmed, the harm thesis is correct, since death, and some post-mortem events, harm the living.
  • On the other hand it is often difficult to tell whether the chemical and structural changes observed during the various types of cell death are pre- or post-mortem events.
  • Second, the tissues that have been through programmed senescence and death, instead of disappearing through post-mortem decay, persist as mummified corpses - namely as wood.


Mid 18th century: from Latin, literally 'after death'.

Words that rhyme with postmortem


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: post·mor·tem

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