Definition of post-mortem in English:

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Pronunciation: /pəʊs(t)ˈmɔːtəm/


1 (also post-mortem examination) An examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death: the hospital will want to carry out a post-mortem
More 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.
autopsy, post-mortem examination, PM, dissection, necropsy
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 post-mortem 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, investigation, breakdown, critique, study
rare anatomization


1Relating to a post-mortem: a post-mortem 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: post-mortem changes in his body [as adverb]: assessment of morphology in nerves taken post-mortem
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'.

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