Definition of postern in US English:



  • A back or side entrance.

    as modifier ‘a small postern door’
    • ‘I found another door into the Palace: a small postern gate around by the stables.’
    • ‘This ‘bar’ was in fact only a small postern gate beside one of the defensive towers in the wall, which might explain why it receives no mention in any early city documents.’’
    • ‘The main entrance was from the east, where the gate was protected by a massive stone tower; a smaller gate and two posterns gave access through the northern rampart.’
    • ‘The hotel is described as ‘pretty appalling’ and its attempt to mimic the postern on the walls opposite has been called ‘deplorable’.’
    • ‘The tiny postern gate did open into the river; by way of the storm drains.’


Middle English: from Old French posterne, alteration of posterle, from late Latin posterula, diminutive of posterus ‘following’.