Postmodernism is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. The term was coined in 1949 to describe a dissatisfaction with modern architecture, leading to the postmodern architecture movement.

Largely influenced by the disillusionment induced by World War, postmodernism tends to refer to a cultural, intellectual, or artistic state lacking a clear central hierarchy or organizing principle and embodying extreme complexity, contradiction, ambiguity, diversity, and interconnectedness or interreferentiality.

Later, the term was applied to several movements, including in art, music, and literature, that reacted against modern movements, and are typically marked by revival of traditional elements and techniques. For example, Postmodernism in architecture is marked by the re-emergence of surface ornament, reference to surrounding buildings in urban architecture, historical reference in decorative forms, and non-orthogonal angles.

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