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

  • adj. Occurring or placed after a word.
  • n. A word or particle occurring or placed after another word.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Placed after the word modified, either immediately after, as in two men abreast, or as part of a complement, as in those two men are bad.
  • n. A postpositive modifier.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Placed after another word

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Placed after something else; suffixed; appended: as, a postpositive word.

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

  • adj. (of a modifier) placed after another word


Late Latin postpositīvus, from Latin postpositus, past participle of postpōnere, to put after; see postpone.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • Passing over the vague reference of "it," which doesn't refer clearly to anything in the preceding context, I'll ask why Clark doesn't know that "however" should be postpositive.

    Sauce for the Gander

  • At Astrakhan State Pedagogical University, located in the Volga River delta, Maya Ryashchina has found three patterns: noun plus postpositive, as in hands-on manager and heads-up tennis; verb plus postpositive, as in drive-by killing; and a modal verb plus infinitive, as in can-do mentality, must-have wine and must-see film.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • In the case of nouns, the singular with the postpositive definite article and the indefinite plural are given in parenthesis.

    Fritiofs Saga

  • Hainan Airlines, China′s fourth largest haulier, is set to runabout its postpositive major flights from Dalian to Singapore via Hefei on August 29,2010

    Top Information about Home Management

  • It's a pity to disqualify the pun, but Pope Pius does not properly portray a postpositive modifier.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIII No 3

  • [Dr. Abate comments: Many of the culinary combinations are such, of course, because of their being loan translations from a Romance phrase (veal Florentine, steak tartare, etc.) or because they pick up the postpositive placement on the model of the French syntactical rules.]

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XII No 2

  • However, it does contain one blunder: the phrase penny dreadful does not exemplify a postpositive modifier.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XII No 2

  • A.M. Kinloch University of New Brunswick The note on postpositive modifiers in English [XI,2] by Frank Abate was particularly interesting to me.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XII No 2

  • If the ideal postpositive modifier is (a) one which usage forbids to precede and (b) is not a participle, there seem to be very few, and Abate has proposed several of them, like heir apparent, time immemorial, and devil incarnate.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XII No 2

  • John B. Rockwell New York City I refer to Professor Staaks's letter on postpositive modifiers [XII,2].

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIII No 3


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