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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. Originally, a back door or gate; a private entrance; hence, any small door or gate. He by a privy postern took his flight. (Spenser) Out at the postern, by the abbey wall. (Shak)

2. A subterraneous passage communicating between the parade and the main ditch, or between the ditches and the interior of the outworks.

Origin: OF. Posterne, posterle, F. Poterne, fr. L. Posterula, fr. Posterus coming after. See Posterior.

back; being behind; private. The postern door.