modernity

noun mo·der·ni·ty \ mə-ˈdər-nə-tē , mä- , -ˈder- \

Definition of modernity

1 : the quality or state of being or appearing to be modern
  • Such details as street lamps, telephone booths, mailboxes and manhole covers have been expensively recreated to recall a past that makes even young Hungarians nostalgic and Western tourists regret the flashy modernity of their cities.
  • —Henry Kamm
  • His early work portrayed the idiosyncratic behavior of his zany upper-class family whose wealth and quest for modernity impelled them to try out all the latest inventions and devices of the time, from electric razors to automobiles to flying machines.
  • —Naomi Rosenblum
2 : the modern era or world and especially the ideas and attitudes associated with the modern world
  • For all his conservatism, Henry Adams's encounter with modernity led neither to romantic antiquarianism … nor to an intensified commitment to those very liberal arts that were under siege in a market society.
  • —Peter N. Miller

First Known Use of modernity

1635

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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