AskDefine | Define postern

Dictionary Definition

postern n : a small gate in the rear of a fort or castle

User Contributed Dictionary



From posterne, from posterula, diminutive of posterus.


  1. A small gate or door, especially one in the rear of a fortification



  1. Situated at the rear; posterior



  1. sv-noun-form-def poster

Extensive Definition

A postern is a secondary door or gate, particularly in a fortification such as a city wall or castle curtain wall. Posterns were often located in a concealed location, allowing the occupants to come and go inconspicuously. In the event of a siege, a postern could act as a sally port, allowing defenders to make a sortie on the besiegers.
postern in Catalan: Poterna
postern in Spanish: Poterna
postern in French: Poterne
postern in Italian: Postierla
postern in Russian: Потерна

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

French door, aft, after, aftermost, afterpart, afterpiece, archway, back, back door, back seat, back side, backward, barway, behind, breech, bulkhead, carriage entrance, cellar door, cellarway, door, doorjamb, doorpost, doorway, front door, gate, gatepost, gateway, hatch, hatchway, heel, hind, hind end, hind part, hinder, hindermost, hindhand, hindhead, hindmost, lintel, occiput, porch, portal, porte cochere, posterior, propylaeum, pylon, rear, rear end, rearmost, rearward, retrograde, reverse, scuttle, side door, stern, stile, storm door, tail, tail end, tailpiece, threshold, tollgate, trap, trap door, turnpike, turnstile
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