Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Occurring or continuing after one's death: a posthumous award.
  • adj. Published after the writer's death: a posthumous book.
  • adj. Born after the death of the father: a posthumous child.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Born after the death of one's father.
  • adj. After the death of someone
  • adj. Taking place after one's own death
  • adj. In reference to a work, published after the author's death.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Born after the death of the father, or taken from the dead body of the mother.
  • adj. Published after the death of the author
  • adj. Being or continuing after one's death.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Born after the death of the father: as, a posthumous son.
  • Appearing or existing after the death or cessation of that to which its origin is due; especially, of books, published after the death of the author: as, posthumous works.
  • n. A posthumous child.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. occurring or coming into existence after a person's death

Etymologies

Middle English posthumus, from Late Latin, alteration (perhaps influenced by Latin humus, earth or humāre, to bury) of postumus, superlative of posterus, coming after; see posterior.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin posthumus, a variant spelling of postumus, superlative form of posterus ("coming after"), the "h" added by association with humus ("ground, earth") referring to burial. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • At one time or another (including copyrights) this person has had about fourteen hundred pounds of my money, and he writes what he calls a posthumous work about me, and a scrubby letter accusing me of treating him ill, when I never did any such thing.

    Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 4 (of 6) With His Letters and Journals

  • This is why we call the posthumous life the only reality, and the terrestrial one, including the personality itself, only imaginary.

    Death—and After?

  • He brings this question as a plaintiff in the case he describes as a posthumous "love letter to the things Gerry believed in."

    post-gazette.com - News

  • Today's excerpts from Henry David Thoreau's Journal are in posthumous dialogue with The New York Times.

    Checking in on Thoreau: arguing about John Brown and finding friends in windfall acorns

  • But will the millions of children who adored Irwin’s life-affirming presence stick with him in posthumous reruns?

    Unfair Dinkum

  • (Unless the author is dead and the book is posthumous, which is a slightly different kettle of fish.)

    msagara: Acts of faith & entitlement issues

  • My father was what is generally termed a posthumous child — in other words, the gentillatre who begot him never had the satisfaction of invoking the blessing of the Father of All upon his head; having departed this life some months before the birth of his youngest son.

    Lavengro

  • Chopin did display remarkable originality at the very beginning, but the apparent maturity of his first published works is due to the fact that he destroyed his earliest efforts and disowned those works which are known as posthumous, and which may have created confusion in some minds by having received a higher "opus" number than his last works.

    Chopin and Other Musical Essays

  • He is dying by inches now, dying of the most horrible persecution; and the emotion that his end will cause among a few individuals cannot be called posthumous fame.

    Three Dramas

  • My father was what is generally termed a posthumous child -- in other words, the _gentillatre_ who begot him never had the satisfaction of invoking the blessing of the Father of All upon his head, having departed this life some months before the birth of his youngest son.

    Lavengro The Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest

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