adjective co·e·val \kō-ˈē-vəl\

Definition of coeval

  1. :  of the same or equal age, antiquity, or duration




play \ˌkō-(ˌ)ē-ˈva-lə-tē\ noun

coeval was our Word of the Day on 01/31/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of coeval in a sentence

  1. two stars thought to be coeval because they have nearly the same mass and brightness

Did You Know?

Coeval comes to English from the Latin word coaevus, meaning "of the same age." "Coaevus" was formed by combining the "co-" prefix ("in or to the same degree") with Latin aevum ("age" or "lifetime"). The root "ev" comes from "aevum," making words such as "longevity," "medieval," and "primeval" all near relations to "coeval." Although "coeval" can technically describe any two or more entities that coexist, it is most typically used to refer to things that have existed together for a very long time (such as galaxies) or that were concurrent with each other in the distant past (parallel historical periods of ancient civilizations, for example).

Origin and Etymology of coeval

Latin coaevus, from co- + aevum age, lifetime — more at aye

First Known Use: 1645

Synonym Discussion of coeval

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

Learn More about coeval

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up coeval? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


feeling or affected by lethargy

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • ludwig-richter-spring-has-arrived
  • Which is a synonym of upbraid?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.