modern

adjective
mod·​ern | \ ˈmä-dərn How to pronounce modern (audio) , nonstandard ˈmä-d(ə-)rən\

Definition of modern

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or characteristic of the present or the immediate past : contemporary the modern American family
b : of, relating to, or characteristic of a period extending from a relevant remote past to the present time modern history
2 : involving recent techniques, methods, or ideas : up-to-date modern methods of communication
3 capitalized : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of the present or most recent period of development of a language Modern English
4 : of or relating to modernism : modernist Modern art has abandoned the representation of recognizable objects.

modern

noun

Definition of modern (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a person of modern times or views
b : an adherent of modernism : modernist
2 : a style of printing type distinguished by regularity of shape, precise curves, straight hairline serifs, and heavy downstrokes

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Other Words from modern

Adjective

modernity \ mə-​ˈdər-​nə-​tē How to pronounce modernity (audio) , mä-​ , -​ˈder-​ How to pronounce modernity (audio) \ noun
modernly \ ˈmä-​dərn-​lē How to pronounce modernly (audio) \ adverb
modernness \ ˈmä-​dərn-​nəs How to pronounce modernness (audio) \ noun

Examples of modern in a Sentence

Adjective

Water pollution is a growing problem in the modern world. He's known as the father of modern medicine. The English that was spoken by William Shakespeare is very different from the modern English spoken today. She is learning Modern Greek. They live in one of the most modern cities in the world. modern methods of communication including e-mail and the Internet She cut her long hair for a modern look. He made his old-fashioned apartment look more modern by changing the color of the walls and buying new furniture. Their latest movie is a modern version of a classic children's story. She has modern ideas about dating and marriage.

Noun

the leaders of the American suffragists were originally regarded by many people as uppity moderns who should have stayed in their place
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While humans have known about Saturn since ancient times, knowledge of these inner moons—known as Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora, and Epimetheus— is relatively modern. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Reveals the Secrets of Saturn's Tiny "Ravioli" Moons," 29 Mar. 2019 The video characterizes the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10 like replacing a wallet, or upgrading from a beloved old clunker to a more modern SUV. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Windows 7 will use pop-ups to warn users of the operating system's impending death," 12 Mar. 2019 This ultra-modern tower blends ancient concepts (like spherical pearls) with 21st-century technology, once again combining the old and the new. Adrienne Faurote, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Shanghai, China," 5 Apr. 2019 Another may be an over-the-top approach that is at equal times artful, modern, and oozing confidence. Diana Nguyen, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Don’t You...Wear Head-to-Toe Gucci All Day, Every Day," 2 Apr. 2019 Princess Mary was photographed wearing it, although in a more modern bandeau style, and in 1992 at the wedding of the 7th Earl of Harewood’s son, the lucky bride wore the coronet. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "How Queen Victoria’s Favorite Tiara Almost Caused a National Scandal," 31 Mar. 2019 Harington and Leslie traded in their GoT furs for more casual (and modern) winter looks. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's PDA-Filled Outing in NYC Is Too Cute for Words," 28 Mar. 2019 Inclusion is the name of this game, and these fashion and beauty brands boast a wide selection of modern and chic styles that allow everyone to unleash their inner cool girl. Allure, "10 Muslim-Owned Fashion and Beauty Brands You Need to Know," 27 Mar. 2019 After greeting the dancers, the royal couple watched a performance blending classical, modern and traditional Cuban dance. Michael Weissenstein, The Seattle Times, "Prince Charles, Camilla tour Old Havana on royal visit," 25 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The designs are minimalist and mid-century modern in nature, with natural wood element options on upholstered pieces and laminate geometric patterns available for tables and storage pieces. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "This Custom Furniture Company Promises Quick Shipping, Affordable Prices, and—Gasp—10-Minute Assembly," 6 Dec. 2018 Over the last few decades, architectural groups have turned their attention from modernist favorites to post-modern and late modern structures, such as the Vanna Venturi house. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Rethinking the modern house museum," 12 Oct. 2018 Saying mid-century modern's had a revival would be one serious understatement. Hillary Brown, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Mid-Century Modern Design," 13 Sep. 2018 Today Bocagrande, which has some of Colombia's most expensive real estate, is the neighborhood of choice for those who prefer, and can afford, ocean-side modern. Maureen Orth, Town & Country, "Inside Cartagena," 11 Jan. 2013 For critics, the absence of the modern is compounded by a lack of stylistic purity. Anthony Alofsin, The Atlantic, "A Defense of the Suburbs," 6 June 2018 Photos courtesy of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty A crisp Donald Wexler midcentury modern is up for sale in that sunny California enclave of Palm Springs. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Nab this Donald Wexler midcentury pad in Palm Springs for $725K," 29 May 2018 For frantic moderns, silence also seems part of the comfort offered by primitive or eternal things. The Economist, "People crave silence, yet are unnerved by it," 17 May 2018 Measuring 1,774 square feet, the midcentury modern is nevertheless bright, spacious, and airy, with four bedrooms, two baths, and expansive common areas unfurling across a flowing floorplan. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Updated SoCal Eichler asks $985K," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'modern.' 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 modern

Adjective

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for modern

Adjective and Noun

Late Latin modernus, from Latin modo just now, from modus measure — more at mete

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Statistics for modern

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for modern

The first known use of modern was in 1585

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More Definitions for modern

modern

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of modern

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to the present time or the recent past : happening, existing, or developing at a time near the present time
: of or relating to the current or most recent period of a language
: based on or using the newest information, methods, or technology

modern

noun

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

: a person who has modern ideas, tastes, or attitudes
: a modern artist or writer

modern

adjective
mod·​ern | \ ˈmä-dərn How to pronounce modern (audio) \

Kids Definition of modern

1 : of or characteristic of the present time or times not long past modern machinery
2 : of a style or way of thinking that is new and different modern ideas
3 : having a style that is newer and different from older, more traditional styles modern dance
4 : of the period from about 1500 to the present modern history

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More from Merriam-Webster on modern

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for modern

Spanish Central: Translation of modern

Nglish: Translation of modern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of modern for Arabic Speakers

Comments on modern

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