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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a post-mortem examination (=an examination of a dead body to discover why the person died)
▪ The post-mortem examination showed that he died from a blood clot in the brain.
▪ A post-mortem revealed that the woman had died of blood poisoning.
▪ A police pathologist carried out a post-mortem on the body.
▪ No evidence of drugs was found in the post-mortem examination.
▪ A post-mortem will take place tomorrow at Poplar mortuary in east London.
▪ Also last weekend, the Fabians published their general election post-mortem.
▪ Here, in a room in Sandton, the Springboks were undergoing a similar post-mortem.
▪ Only a post-mortem revealed the truth.
▪ Owing to shortage of medical staff, the post-mortem was not carried out until the following morning.
▪ Party chairman Chris Patten, the tragic hero of the hour, arrived shortly after 11.00 for a lengthy post-mortem.
▪ The most ludicrous post-mortem appeared last Thursday, September 18, on the editorial page of an almost-daily afternoon paper.
▪ The verdict of that post-mortem was that Reverend Marr had been killed at about midnight on Friday.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Post-mortem \Post-mor"tem\, a. [L., after death.] After death; as, post-mortem rigidity.

Post-mortem examination (Med.), an examination of the body made after the death of the patient; an autopsy.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also postmortem, 1734 (adverb), from Latin post mortem, from post "after" (see post-) + mortem, accusative of mors "death" (see mortal (adj.)). From 1835 as an adjective. As a noun, shortening of post-mortem examination, it is recorded from 1850.


n. (alternative spelling of post mortem English)

Post-mortem (disambiguation)

Post-mortem (meaning after death) may refer to:

In science:

  • Post-mortem chemistry, a branch of chemistry for studying of chemical and biochemical phenomena in a cadaver
  • Post-mortem examination, or autopsy, an examination of a corpse in order to determine cause of death
  • Post-mortem interval, the time that has elapsed since a person has died
  • Postmortem studies, a neurobiological research method
  • Postmortem documentation, a technical analysis of a finished project

In photography:

  • Post-mortem photography, a style of photography popular in the 19th century

In entertainment:

  • Post Mortem (1982 film), a 1982 Indian Malayalam film
  • Postmortem (1998 film), a 1998 film starring Charlie Sheen
  • Post Mortem (1999 film), a 1999 Canadian film
  • Post Mortem (2010 film), a 2010 Chilean film
  • Post Mortem (TV series), a 2007 German crime drama
  • Post Mortem (video game), a 2003 adventure game
  • "Post Mortem", the seventh episode in the seventh season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • Postmortem (comics), a Marvel comics supervillain

In literature:

  • Postmortem (novel), a novel by author Patricia Cornwell
  • Post Mortem (Coward play), a 1930 play by Noël Coward
  • Post Mortem (Gurney play), a 2006 play by A. R. Gurney
  • Post Mortem, a 1968 book by Albert Caraco

In music:

  • Post Mortem (band), a thrash metal band from Boston, Massachusetts
  • Postmortem (band), a death metal band from Berlin, Germany
  • "Postmortem", a song from Slayer's 1986 album, Reign in Blood
  • Post Mortem (album), a 2011 album by Black Tide

Usage examples of "post-mortem".

Stock, of Marlstone, was at once sent for, and will conduct the post-mortem examination.

No post-mortem examinations were held in any of these puerperal cases.

All the brain tissue metabolic processes, the incorporation of the radioactive sugar membranes, the post-mortem decay and dissolution of all have been halted indefinitely by the freezing.

Robert Koch in post-mortems and blear-eyed peerings through the microscope.

But the wraith, with its chinky Coke and theories of post-mortem speed, had been able to interface with Gately without aid of speech or gesture or Bic, was why even out of his mind Gately had had to admit to himself it must have been a delusion, a fever-dream.

I read up coniine, and it hasn’t got any distinctive post-mortem appearances.

He'd purchased the magazine because it carried an article of Oliphant's, a witty post-mortem on the conduct of the Crimean War.

The exact cause of the deaths will not be confirmed until the completion of post-mortem examinations by the Multnomah County Medical Examiner.

This explanation was borne out by the post-mortem examination, which showed long-standing organic disease, and the coroner's jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

At Claudine's urging they talked through all the decisions that had been made at the NCIS building, to ensure nothing had been overlooked, which prompted Rosetti to admit he'd forgotten to find out about any initial post-mortem examination.

You understand that what we call a post-mortem examination has had to be made?

He has said that post-mortem examination strongly suggests that the shot that killed your father was fired at close range.

She reiterated her conviction that her uncle would have strongly disliked it, and was only partly soothed by an assurance from Miss Patterdale that neither the post-mortem examination nor the inquest would preclude her from burying her uncle with all the ceremonial she seemed to consider was his due.

He swung round for another post-mortem examination of the fire, but stopped as he remembered the reason for their visit.

A lawyer is no better than an old woman at a post-mortem examination.