One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The hours after midday, the afternoon. Chiefly figurative. Now rare.
Of or relating to the afternoon; occurring after noon or midday.
After midday; in the afternoon.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Brian Melbancke (d. 1600), writer. As noun from post-classical Latin postmeridianum the hours after midday, afternoon, use as noun of neuter of classical Latin postmerīdiānus, adjective; as adjective from classical Latin postmerīdiānus (also in contracted form pōmerīdiānus) (adjective) of or occurring in the afternoon from post after + merīdiēs midday + -ānus. With use as adjective compare antemeridian, and earlier pomeridian. With geological senses compare premeridian. In use as adverb perhaps erroneously for post meridiem.
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