postern

(redirected from posterns)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.

pos·tern

 (pō′stərn, pŏs′tərn)
n.
A small rear gate, especially one in a fort or castle.
adj.
Situated in the back or at the side.

[Middle English posterne, from Old French, alteration of posterle, from Late Latin posterula, diminutive of Latin posterus, behind; see posterior.]

postern

(ˈpɒstən)
n
(Architecture) a back door or gate, esp one that is for private use
adj
(Architecture) situated at the rear or the side
[C13: from Old French posterne, from Late Latin posterula (jānua) a back (entrance), from posterus coming behind; see posterior, posterity]

pos•tern

(ˈpoʊ stərn, ˈpɒs tərn)

n.
1. a back door or gate.
2. a private entrance or any entrance other than the main one.
adj.
3. of, pertaining to, or resembling a postern.
[1250–1300; Middle English posterne < Old French, alter. of posterle < Late Latin posterula, diminutive of postera back door, n. use of feminine of posterus coming behind. See posterior, -ule]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.postern - a small gate in the rear of a fort or castlepostern - a small gate in the rear of a fort or castle
gate - a movable barrier in a fence or wall

postern

adjective
Located in the rear:
Nautical: after.
Translations

postern

[ˈpəʊstɜːn] Npostigo m

postern

n (old)Seitenpforte f, → Nebenpforte f
References in classic literature ?
I found our fortress in a bad state of defence, but we proceeded immediately to repair our flanks, strengthen our gates and posterns, and form double bastions, which we compleated in ten days.
He saw that when the Lady Maud accompanied him they were wont to repair to the farthermost extremities of the palace grounds where, by a little postern gate, she admitted a certain officer of the Guards to whom the Queen had forbidden the privilege of the court.
With eyes bent upon the ground, then, or only raised enough to prevent his stumbling over such obstacles as lay in his way, the religious man moved slowly forward until he reached a small postern in the wall of the sisters' orchard, through which he passed, closing it behind him.
he continued, accompanying me to the gate, a postern in the high garden wall.
If I were in your place, Mynheer John," the young girl timidly continued, "I should leave by the postern, which leads into a deserted by-lane, whilst all the people are waiting in the High Street to see you come out by the principal entrance.
The West Wind reigns over the seas surrounding the coasts of these kingdoms; and from the gateways of the channels, from promontories as if from watch-towers, from estuaries of rivers as if from postern gates, from passage-ways, inlets, straits, firths, the garrison of the Isle and the crews of the ships going and returning look to the westward to judge by the varied splendours of his sunset mantle the mood of that arbitrary ruler.
What you must do is carry me in your arms, and lay me across or set me upright in some postern, and I'll hold it either with this lance or with my body.