use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

post 1 (pōst)
Share:
n.
1. A long piece of wood or other material set upright into the ground to serve as a marker or support.
2. A similar vertical support or structure, as:
a. A support for a beam in the framework of a building.
b. A terminal of a battery.
3. Sports A goal post.
4. The starting point at a racetrack.
5. The slender barlike part of a stud earring that passes through the ear and is secured at the back with a small cap or clip.
6. An electronic message sent to and displayed on an online forum: ignored several inflammatory posts.
tr.v. post·ed, post·ing, posts
1.
a. To display (an announcement) in a place of public view.
b. To cover (a wall, for example) with posters.
2. To announce by or as if by posters: post banns.
3. Computers To make (an electronic message) available by sending it to an online forum: posted a response to a question about car engines.
4. To put up signs on (property) warning against trespassing.
5. To denounce publicly: post a man as a thief.
6. To publish (a name) on a list.
7. Games To gain (points or a point) in a game or contest; score.

[Middle English, from Old English, from Latin postis; see stā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
post 2 (pōst)
Share:
n.
1.
a. A military base.
b. The grounds and buildings of a military base.
2. A local organization of military veterans.
3. Either of two bugle calls in the British Army, sounded in the evening as a signal to retire to quarters.
4. An assigned position or station, as of a guard or sentry.
5. Basketball A position usually taken by the center close to the basket or below the foul line, serving as the focus of the team's offense.
6. A position of employment, especially an appointed public office.
7. A place to which someone is assigned for duty.
8. A trading post.
tr.v. post·ed, post·ing, posts
1. To assign to a specific position or station: post a sentry at the gate.
2. To appoint to a naval or military command.
3. To put forward; present: post bail.
Phrasal Verb:
post up Basketball
To take a position below the foul line, usually with one's back to the basket to receive and make passes or to turn quickly to shoot.

[French poste, from Italian posto, from Old Italian, from Vulgar Latin *postum, from Latin positum, neuter past participle of pōnere, to place; see apo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
post 3 (pōst)
Share:
n.
1. Chiefly British
a. A postal system.
b. A post office.
c. A delivery or amount of mail: waiting for the morning's post to arrive.
2. Obsolete
a. One of a series of relay stations along a fixed route, furnishing fresh riders and horses for the delivery of mail on horseback.
b. A rider on such a mail route; a courier.
v. post·ed, post·ing, posts
v.tr.
1. Chiefly British To mail (a letter or package).
2. Archaic To send by mail in a system of relays on horseback.
3. To inform of the latest news: Keep us posted.
4.
a. To transfer (an item) to a ledger in bookkeeping.
b. To make the necessary entries in (a ledger).
5. Computers To enter (a unit of information) on a record or into a section of storage.
v.intr.
1. Archaic
a. To travel in stages or relays.
b. To travel with speed or in haste.
2. To bob up and down in the saddle in rhythm with a horse's trotting gait.
adv.
Archaic
1. With great speed; rapidly.
2. By post horse.

[French poste, from Old French, relay station for horses, from Old Italian posta, from Vulgar Latin *posta, station, from Latin posita, feminine past participle of pōnere, to place; see apo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
post-
Share:
pref.
1. After; later: postmillennial.
2. Behind; posterior to: postaxial.

[Latin, from post, behind, after; see apo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Post (pōst), Charles William 1854-1914.
Share:
American manufacturer of breakfast cereals and the coffee-substitute Postum.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Post, Wiley 1899-1935.
Share:
American aviator who made the first solo flight around the world (1933).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Post, Emily Price 1872-1960.
Share:
American etiquette authority. She wrote Etiquette (1922) and a popular syndicated newspaper column.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.