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.



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


modernly \ ˈmä-​dərn-​lē How to pronounce modern (audio) \ adverb
modernness \ ˈmä-​dərn-​nəs How to pronounce modern (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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Howard served as executive producer on his daughter’s directorial debut, the documentary Dads, which explores modern-day fatherhood. Beatrice Verhoeven, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 May 2022 Underneath modern-day Broad Ripple, southeast of where the White River considers flowing north before meandering south again, is an ancient peat bog carved out by a retreating glacier. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 10 May 2022 This dynasty, originally from northern Iraq (Diyarbakır in modern day Turkey), managed to stay in control for three hundred years, until the Mongols took the reins. Lisa Morrow, CNN, 10 May 2022 Hailey Bieber channeled a modern-day Cher Horowitz, pairing a yellow plaid cropped sweater vest with a short-sleeve white top and cargo pants while out getting a juice at Erewhon Market in Santa Monica, Calif. this week. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 7 May 2022 Like a modern-day movie version of the game Clue (shout-out to the bomb ’80s adaptation also), Rian Johnson’s Knives Out speaks directly to the sleuth inside all of us. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 5 May 2022 The best model suggests that three different human groups intermingled in Europe 5,000 years ago to forge modern day Europeans. Anna C. F. Lewis, STAT, 4 May 2022 Alongside this, the U.K. also wants to see a modern-day Marshall Plan put in place to rebuild Ukraine’s shattered economy. Max Colchester, WSJ, 3 May 2022 As a hitter, Ohtani is facing pitchers with the same modern day advances as hitters. Bernie Pleskoff, Forbes, 3 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fusing the modern with the bygone is easier attempted than accomplished, but Paloma Elsesser's corset-meets-slip skirt look does the hard work. ELLE, 4 May 2022 But there’s also a flash of modern to them, with lightweight, sustainable materials, as well as a cool heel strap. Thomas Hindle, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Apr. 2022 The Laura Davidson Furniture Soho Management Chair has a mid-century modern feel that'll look great in just about any office setting. Jamie Weissman, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Apr. 2022 Bieber was ready for the main event after achieving the modern, sultry Oscar night look of her dreams. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 29 Mar. 2022 Director David Fincher's masterful adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same name is a work of blunt, brutal violence, and commentary on the modern (well, 1999's) state of self and masculinity. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 9 Mar. 2022 Here’s what’s on tap — and ballet and modern — from the Portland dance world. oregonlive, 21 Mar. 2022 Europe was girding for refugees fleeing a modern, if corruption-ridden, democracy whose president, Volodymyr Zelensky, was in Munich on Saturday pleading his case that NATO must open its doors to his country — and thus defend it. New York Times, 21 Feb. 2022 At our beachfront Malibu Idea House that overlooks the ocean, LaCantina installed bi-fold doors to maximize space and match the modern yet beachy vibe of the home. Sunset Magazine, 11 Feb. 2022 See More

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


1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


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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Dictionary Entries Near modern

moderator lamp



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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Modern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for modern


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

More from Merriam-Webster on modern

Nglish: Translation of modern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of modern for Arabic Speakers


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