Trend Watch

Times: F.B.I. Agent's 'Contemporaneous' Notes are Evidence

From the Latin word tempus, meaning "time."

Contemporaneous (“existing, occurring, or originating during the same time”) was among our top lookups on May 16th 2017, after the word appeared in a New York Times article about Donald Trump, James Comey, and the taking of notes.

An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.
—Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times, 16 May 2017

The word, which comes to our language from Latin, shares a root (tempus, meaning “time”) with a number of other English words, such as contretemps (“an inopportune embarrassing occurrence”). Our earliest record of contemporaneous in print comes from 1645.

The mention of those two Kings, discovers Amos to have been contemporaneous with Hosea, and Joel; yea, with Isaiah too, (whose Father he was not, although some have so conjectured;) albeit he began somewhat after them, and finished his course many years before them, by means of that untimely death, but now expressed.
Cornelius Burges, The Necessity of Agreement with God, 1645

Trend Watch tracks and reports on the words that people are looking up. You can see all the Trend Watch articles here.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!