So I came across a word "copula" at vocabulary.com, and one of its example sentence is:

Lady arachnids have a well-deserved reputation for polishing off their suitors, post copula, in a manner that Hannibal Lecter might have admired.

As a non-native speaker I sometimes quite struggle with the given example from the website,because I find it so literary ,probably sentences and lines derived from many literary works.

please bear with me, however, before I post this , I had actually tried very hard to figure it out, unfortunately, I failed by no means, anyway, what on the earth does the"post" mean by here in the "post copula,".

2 Answers 2


In this context, "post" means "after" - post copula means after copulation, that is, after sex. It is actually a Latin word, and you'll occasionally see it where Latin phrases are used in English (the one that comes immediately to mind is p.m. for the afternoon, being short for the Latin phrase post meridiem). Generally in English words this usage of post- is only seen as a prefix, not as a word in its own right; see https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/post and scroll down to the prefix definition, and you'll see:

post- prefix
Definition of post- (Entry 8 of 8)
1a: after : subsequent : later
b: behind : posterior : following after

2a: subsequent to : later than
b: posterior to

  • I actually though it might be then, while,is there a possibility that"copula"is in fact means,uh... "be identical" or "equating to"?so that would be paraphrased as: the way the lady arachnids polish off their suitors,is so notorious "just like" the hinnibal lecter who will admire(because hannibal lecter has the quality to do the same thing,but to people ),if so,what the role the "post" really plays,I wonder. Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 22:46
  • maybe I am totally wrong with there,because I failed to find a perfect explanation for "post sex",would you please tell me what does this latin phrase actually means. Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 23:01
  • @vaterherrn The intended meaning in this sentence is after having sex - it means that some species of female spiders are known to eat the male spider after they've finished mating. Hannibal Lecter is a fictional cannibal - they're saying he would admire the female spiders as he is also a cannibal. You can read about spider cannibalism here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider_cannibalism "In the majority of cases a female spider kills and eats a male before, during, or after copulation."
    – Showsni
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 14:28
  • now I understand it.Thanks a lot! Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 14:58

Here, "post" is a Latin word, which means "after".

So the Latin phrase "post copula" means "after sex".

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