M.H.G. virst "ridepole," Lith. pirstas, O.C.S. pristu "finger" (PIE *por-st-i-). The verb meaning "to affix (a paper, etc.) to a post" (in a public place) is first recorded 1650.
"place when on duty," 1598, from M.Fr. poste "place where one is stationed," also, "station for post horses" (16c.), from It. posto "post, station," from V.L. *postum, from L. postium, neut. pp. of ponere "to place, to put" (see position
). Earliest sense in Eng. was military;
meaning "job, position" is attested 1695. The figurative sense of "carrying" by post horses is also behind the verb in bookkeeping (1622) meaning "to transfer from a day book to a formal account." To keep (someone) posted "supply with news" is 1847, Amer.Eng.
"mail system," 1506, from post (2) on notion of riders and horses posted at intervals along a route to speed mail in relays, from M.Fr. poste in this sense (1477). The verb meaning "to send through the postal system" is recorded from 1837. Postmark (n.) is first recorded 1678; postman first recorded
1529; postcard is from 1870. Post office first recorded 1652 as "public department in charge of letter-carrying;" Meaning "Building where postal business is carried on" is from 1657. In slang or euphemistic sense of "sexual game" it refers to a parlor game first attested early 1850s in which pretend "letters" were paid for by kisses.
"to put up bail money," 1781, from one of the posts, but which one is uncertain.
prefix meaning "after," from L. post "behind, after, afterward," from *pos-ti (cf. Arcadian pos, Doric poti "toward, to, near, close by;" O.C.S. po "behind, after," pozdu "late;" Lith. pas "at, by"), from PIE *po- (cf. Gk. apo "from," L. ab "away from"). Logical fallacy post hoc, ergo propter hoc is
L., lit. "after this, therefore because of this," attested from 1704. Post-bellum used in U.S. South from 1874 in ref. to Amer. Civil War; post-war first recorded 1908 in ref. to the Boer War.