Contemporary | Definition of Contemporary by Merriam-Webster

contemporary

adjective
con·​tem·​po·​rary | \ kən-ˈtem-pə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce contemporary (audio) , -ˌre-rē \

Definition of contemporary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : marked by characteristics of the present period : modern, current contemporary American literature contemporary standards
2 : happening, existing, living, or coming into being during the same period of time The book is based on contemporary accounts of the war.

contemporary

noun
plural contemporaries

Definition of contemporary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one that is contemporary with another Petrarch and Chaucer were contemporaries.
2 : one of the same or nearly the same age as another

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Other Words from contemporary

Adjective

contemporarily \ kən-​ˌtem-​pə-​ˈrer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce contemporarily (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for contemporary

Adjective

contemporary, contemporaneous, coeval, synchronous, simultaneous, coincident mean existing or occurring at the same time. contemporary is likely to apply to people and what relates to them. Abraham Lincoln was contemporary with Charles Darwin contemporaneous is more often applied to events than to people. contemporaneous accounts of the kidnapping coeval refers usually to periods, ages, eras, eons. two stars thought to be coeval synchronous implies exact correspondence in time and especially in periodic intervals. synchronous timepieces simultaneous implies correspondence in a moment of time. the two shots were simultaneous coincident is applied to events and may be used in order to avoid implication of causal relationship. the end of World War II was coincident with a great vintage year

Did You Know?

Contemporary can be confusing because of its slightly different meanings. In everyday use, it generally means simply "modern" or "new". But before the 20th century it instead referred only to things from the same era as certain other things; so, for instance, Jesus was contemporary with the Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius, and Muhammad was contemporary with Pope Gregory the Great. And contemporary is also a noun: thus, Jane Austen's contemporaries included Coleridge and Wordsworth, and your own contemporaries were born around the same year that you were.

Examples of contemporary in a Sentence

Adjective the absurd notion that early cave dwellers were contemporary with the dinosaurs a magazine devoted to contemporary fashions Noun He was a contemporary of George Washington. She is politically very different from most of her contemporaries.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Leaning contemporary, waterfall countertops are a common, elegant feature of transitional kitchens. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, "Transitional Style Is the Most Popular Kitchen Design—Here's How to Ace the Look," 30 July 2020 His other grand project was the Museum of Texas Art, which would feature the vast diversity of the state’s art across time, right up to the contemporary moment. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "Why Rick Brettell was the most culturally ‘important’ man in Dallas," 30 July 2020 Indeed, like so much else in the increasingly fluid tide of contemporary world politics, the two democracy studies, Ms. Applebaum’s book, and even the confrontations in Portland suggest that the final word on democracy has not yet been spoken. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "Democracy is under fire, but also underrated," 29 July 2020 Bridy notes that much of the exam remains focused on esoteric areas of law, while failing to include more contemporary subjects like intellectual property. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "It’s not easy being an aspiring lawyer taking the bar exams during a pandemic," 13 July 2020 Maas plans to move to London this fall to study contemporary dance at a conservatory. Deborah Martin, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio Ballet School director works to make her artform more inclusive," 10 July 2020 Home: This is a 5-bed, 3-and-a-half bath, 3,300-square-foot, contemporary home that was built in 2019. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, "This 3,300-square-foot modern Louisville home was inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright," 10 July 2020 The sellers are Darryl Eaton, 56, the co-head of contemporary music at talent agency CAA North America, and his wife Teri Eaton, 54, an entertainment attorney at CAA. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "An L.A. Home With a Ceiling Crafted From Tiny Skylights Lists for $25 Million," 9 July 2020 The statement said there will be a contemporary dimension to redevelopment of the cathedral’s surroundings, in collaboration with the city of Paris. Washington Post, "World Digest: July 9, 2020," 9 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In fact, going off of ESPN’s list, Thomas arguably had the least amount of help of all of his contemporaries. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons' Isiah Thomas ranked way too low in ESPN's NBA all-time player ranking," 20 May 2020 While most of her contemporaries saw the treatment as controversial and dangerous, Catherine and her son responded well to the inoculation. Suyin Haynes, Time, "The Great Is Only 'Occasionally' True. But These Aspects of Hulu's Catherine the Great Series Are Based in History," 15 May 2020 Unlike some of his contemporaries, the switch to esports wasn't something Evans has been training for this whole time. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "We talk esports vs. a pro racing simulator with Jaguar’s Mitch Evans," 12 May 2020 That found their complexity and their truth in a simplicity that none of his contemporaries ever came close to. Los Angeles Times, "Feedback: The coronavirus toll on art, theater and TV," 17 Apr. 2020 The perfect human figure that the sculptor Praxiteles and other of his contemporaries sought to create eight centuries after Homer was both an echo of the poet’s imagination and a wellspring of the Renaissance. Seth Cropsey, National Review, "Oxford Should Keep Homer and Virgil on the Syllabus," 28 Feb. 2020 Tucked behind fences and gates, the 3,160-square-foot contemporary has a distinctive butterfly-style roof, high ceilings, glass-and-steel accents and four bedrooms. Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property newsletter: The for-sale signs keep on coming," 25 Apr. 2020 Listen here Writer, comedian, and social gadabout Lucas Murphy sits down with friends and contemporaries to solve the New York Times crossword puzzle. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "Looking for something new to do? Check out these 30+ Louisville podcasts to keep you busy," 20 Apr. 2020 In one jaw-dropping sequence of side-by-sides, af Klint paintings uncannily prefigure later work by celebrated contemporaries and descendants, among them Albers, Klee and Warhol. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Beyond the Visible — Hilma af Klint': Film Review," 17 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contemporary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of contemporary

Adjective

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contemporary

Adjective

probably borrowed from New Latin contemporārius "existing at the same period of time," from Latin con- con- + tempor-, tempus "time" + -ārius -ary entry 2 — more at tempo

Note: The suffixation may be modeled on Latin temporārius; see temporary entry 1.

Noun

derivative of contemporary entry 1, or from nominal use of its probable source, New Latin contemporārius

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Time Traveler for contemporary

Time Traveler

The first known use of contemporary was in 1614

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Statistics for contemporary

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

Contemporary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contemporary. Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for contemporary

contemporary

adjective
How to pronounce contemporary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of contemporary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: happening or beginning now or in recent times
: existing or happening in the same time period : from the same time period

contemporary

noun

English Language Learners Definition of contemporary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who lives at the same time or is about the same age as another person

contemporary

adjective
con·​tem·​po·​rary | \ kən-ˈtem-pə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce contemporary (audio) \

Kids Definition of contemporary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : living or occurring at the same period of time Mark Twain and Jack London were contemporary writers.
2 : modern sense 1 contemporary musicians

contemporary

noun
plural contemporaries

Kids Definition of contemporary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who lives at the same time or is about the same age as another Mark Twain and Jack London were contemporaries.

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Comments on contemporary

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