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 contemporary (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 This could be a good time to install a new computer or invest in a piece of contemporary art. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Feb. 25, 2021: Aries, attention, praise are headed your way; Pisces, you’ll find it hard to choose," 25 Feb. 2021 Gates sermons toward the end of the documentary in an attempt to foreshadow what is to come in contemporary Black art. Taylor Renee Aldridge, Harper's BAZAAR, ""Art is a Way to Exert Power": On HBO's "Black Art: In the Absence of Light"," 23 Feb. 2021 That house was traditional; their condo was contemporary. Kim Palmer, Star Tribune, "New luxury condo tower in Minneapolis is the height of home design," 19 Feb. 2021 Beyond that observation, contemporary art is, of course, so pluralistic that few generalizations of style are possible, although the selection of works does suggest a certain profile to this year’s crop of inductees. Benjamin Lima, Dallas News, "What art is like now: The DMA’s recent acquisitions range from goofy to transcendent," 10 Feb. 2021 The new design is far more contemporary and can be transformed into two bracelets or a choker. Jill Newman, Town & Country, "Boucheron Is Making High Jewelry for All Genders," 25 Jan. 2021 In 2017, the play’s setting was contemporary, with Felder reflecting on a request from Russian fans to write a Tchaikovsky play and bring it to Russia. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: San Diego Rep’s ‘Tchaikovsky’ breaks new ground for Felder and streaming theater," 21 Dec. 2020 The boutique is contemporary and bold with clothing, furniture, accessories, skincare and home décor specially curated by Shelby and Parkins. Elizabeth Montgomery, The Arizona Republic, "'We saw a void': Why 2 popular boutiques are setting up shop on Phoenix's Roosevelt Row," 9 Nov. 2020 And clothing brands such as Liandra Swim or Ginew, an Indigenous denim line, are proving that traditional Indigenous design can still be contemporary. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "This Indigenous Peoples Day, Support Authentic Native Artists," 12 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Venet’s youthful, geometric cuts in fact hewed close to that of his contemporary, the space age designer and Balenciaga alum, André Courrèges. Vogue, "French Couturier Philippe Venet Has Died at 91," 25 Feb. 2021 Hopkins honored the mantra of his contemporary, the writer Joseph Conrad. Gary Gilson, Star Tribune, "Focus on precision in your writing," 20 Feb. 2021 James Utt, his congressional Orange County contemporary, didn’t like that. Los Angeles Times, "Column: In late Orange County senator, one finds a Republican who would have stood up to Trump," 14 Feb. 2021 On a street lined with million-dollar homes, none is more famous than the modern contemporary at 120 Lakehurst Drive. cleveland, "Tristan Thompson lists lakefront home in Bratenahl for $3.25M: House of the Week (exclusive photos)," 22 Jan. 2021 Be glad your father has someone who is a contemporary to share his fears, grief and anger with. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: As Mom’s acuity declines, Dad confides in his high school girlfriend," 16 Jan. 2021 The Tu-95MS is from roughly the same era, and the American B-52H bomber is a contemporary of both. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Russian and Chinese Bombers Fly a Rare Joint Mission Over the Pacific," 25 Dec. 2020 Some passages in the book are almost poetic, as Dyson riffs from one subject to the next and from the historical to the contemporary with the improvisational flair of a jazzman. Washington Post, "Black America, White violence and generations of unhealed wounds," 4 Dec. 2020 From the archives Thirty years ago, actress Raquel Welch bought a one-story contemporary in the Trousdale area of Beverly Hills for close to its $1.6-million asking price. Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property newsletter: A bounty of real estate fare," 28 Nov. 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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Learn More about contemporary

Time Traveler for contemporary Time Traveler

The first known use of contemporary was in 1614

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Statistics for contemporary

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Contemporary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contemporary. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for contemporary

contemporary

adjective

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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