contemporary


contemporary
contemporary, contemporaneous
1. Contemporary has two main meanings: (1) ‘living or occurring at the same time’, both as an adjective (often followed by with) and as a noun (often followed by of):

• Austen Layard, a contemporary of Wallace who had discovered the ancient city of Nineveh —L. Blair, 1988

• The finest novelists contemporary with him, particularly George Eliot and Hardy, are drawn to describe similar interiors for related, although slightly different, reasons —P. Tristam, 1989

and (2) ‘existing or done at the present time’ (as in contemporary literature) and hence ‘up-to-date, modern’ (as in contemporary ideas / contemporary furnishings). The logic of this sense, which appears at first sight to be inconsistent with the first, is that it is elliptical for ‘contemporary with the present’. The risk of ambiguity is largely theoretical, although it might occur in a sentence such as music performed on contemporary instruments, where it is not clear whether contemporary refers to the time of the music or the time of the performance.
2. Contemporaneous (17c) is an adjective restricted to the first meaning, and is available when all risk of misunderstanding needs to be eliminated. It is found surprisingly often, especially in historical contexts:

• Built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, they are contemporaneous with many of the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe —S. Stewart, 1991

• Workers…experienced an absence of light and air that made conditions even in contemporaneous London and Paris seem favourable —S. Lash, 1990.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Contemporary — may refer to: * Modern era in its generic sense, living, occurring, or existing, at the same time; often also used as a synonym for modern * Contemporary philosophy, Western philosophy from c. 1960 presentIn music: * Contemporary music, post 1945 …   Wikipedia

  • contemporary — adj Contemporary, contemporaneous, coeval, coetaneous, synchronous, simultaneous, coincident, concomitant, concurrent are comparable when they mean existing, living, or occurring at the same time. In contemporary and contemporaneous (of which… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Contemporary R&B — (englisch für zeitgenössischer R B), meist nur R B, bezeichnet eine Musikrichtung, die ihre Ursprünge im afroamerikanischen Rhythm and Blues (R B) hat. In den 1980er Jahren nahmen die ersten Interpreten Musik auf, die als moderne Form des R Bs… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Contemporary — Con*tem po*ra*ry, a. [Pref. con + L. temporarius of belonging to time, tempus time. See {Temporal}, and cf. {Contemporaneous}.] 1. Living, occuring, or existing, at the same time; done in, or belonging to, the same times; contemporaneous. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Contemporary — est une compagnie de disques californienne fondée à la fin des années 1940 par Lester Koenig. Au début des années 50, Contemporary publie les séances dirigées par Howard Rumsey au Lighthouse d Hermosa Beach. Le label va publier les… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • contemporary — UK US /kənˈtempərəri/, /kənˈtempəri/ adjective ► existing or happening now: »There is a need to remain responsive to the ever changing challenges and opportunities of the contemporary business environment. »While there is a small but steady… …   Financial and business terms

  • contemporary — [kən tem′pə rer΄ē] adj. [< L com , with + temporarius, of time < tempus, time: see TEMPER] 1. living or happening in the same period of time 2. of about the same age 3. of or in the style of the present or recent times; modern: see MODERN n …   English World dictionary

  • contemporary — [adj1] modern abreast, à la mode*, au courant, contempo*, current, existent, extant, hot off press*, in fashion, instant, in vogue, just out*, latest, leading edge*, mod*, new, newfangled, now, present, present day, recent, red hot*, state of the …   New thesaurus

  • Contemporary — Con*tem po*ra*ry, n.; pl. {Contemporaries}. 1. One who lives at the same time with another; as, Petrarch and Chaucer were contemporaries. [1913 Webster] 2. a person of nearly the same age as another. Syn: coeval. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contemporary — I adjective co existent, latest, modern, new, present day, up to date, up to the minute II index concomitant, concurrent (at the same time), contemporaneous …   Law dictionary