1. This is a story of Vienna triumphant.

  2. Whilst many now feared Napoleon’s expansionist ambitions, he was welcome when he rode into Vienna triumphant.

As far as I know, triumphant is merely an adjective, but the use in the two examples got me totally confused. Any help would be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


In English it is most usual to place an adjective before the noun that it modifies - a cold day, a triumphant rider, but rarely you will find adjectives placed after the noun - they are said to be postnominal or postpositive. These chiefly appear in a restricted set of situations. Certain adjectives are found more often, and triumphant is one.

His formidable enemies defeated him on almost every side, yet in the end he emerged triumphant.



1 Having won a battle or contest; victorious.

‘two of their triumphant Cup team’

postpositive ‘a comic fairy tale about innocence triumphant’



  • thanks, and could you be so kind as to tell me what the sentence “a comic......innocence triumphant” means?
    – user69307
    May 5, 2018 at 7:45
  • As for my second example, it is he that triumphant modifies, but they are so far from each other, is that also a postpositive case?
    – user69307
    May 5, 2018 at 7:51
  • The usage "he rode into Vienna triumphant" doesn't feel like a postnominal to me, and it fits into a very common pattern: "he arrived elated", "he left besotted", "she rode naked". I've no idea what the grammatical construct is called. Sep 4, 2021 at 20:36

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