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of or relating to present and recent time; not ancient or remote:
modern city life.
characteristic of present and recent time; contemporary; not antiquated or obsolete:
modern viewpoints.
of or relating to the historical period following the Middle Ages:
modern European history.
of, relating to, or characteristic of contemporary styles of art, literature, music, etc., that reject traditionally accepted or sanctioned forms and emphasize individual experimentation and sensibility.
(initial capital letter) (def 12).
Typography. noting or descriptive of a font of numerals in which the body aligns on the baseline, as 1234567890.
Compare (def 3).
a person of modern times.
a person whose views and tastes are modern.
Printing. a type style differentiated from old style by heavy vertical strokes and straight serifs.
Contemporary Examples

The modern era of the circus is inseparable from several names you may have encountered.
We’re All Carnies Now: Why We Can’t Quit the Circus Anthony Paletta November 26, 2014

Across Doel, traditional facades are painted with bright, modern art.
Graffiti Saved This Belgian Ghost Town from Government Bulldozers Nina Strochlic June 19, 2014

The campus experience also leads to you seeing yourself in modern terms.
Everyone Should Go to College Andrew Hacker August 27, 2011

You need philosophy, not the modern bull session kind but the Socratic method of “What the hell am I thinking?”
My Commencement Speech to Rutgers’ Geniuses: Go Forth and Fail P. J. O’Rourke May 17, 2014

He tentatively suggested that the text is a pastiche compiled by a modern forger with an elementary grasp of Coptic.
The ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ is Still as Big a Mystery as Ever Candida Moss April 12, 2014

Historical Examples

It is modern Belgian work, executed for the Paris Exhibition of 1867.
Handbook of Embroidery L. Higgin

Even the village was too human, too modern, for his early-pagan mood.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

In all the Norse languages, ancient and modern, the -d is preserved.
A Handbook of the English Language Robert Gordon Latham

In painting, we believe we possess a school second to none of modern art.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 Various

He was a councillor much in the sense of the modern German “Geheimrath.”
Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam Ephraim Emerton

of, involving, or befitting the present or a recent time; contemporary
of, relating to, or characteristic of contemporary styles or schools of art, literature, music, etc, esp those of an experimental kind
belonging or relating to the period in history from the end of the Middle Ages to the present
a contemporary person
(printing) a type style that originated around the beginning of the 19th century, characterized chiefly by marked contrast between thick and thin strokes Compare old face

c.1500, “now existing;” 1580s, “of or pertaining to present or recent times;” from Middle French moderne (15c.) and directly from Late Latin modernus “modern” (Priscian, Cassiodorus), from Latin modo “just now, in a (certain) manner,” from modo (adv.) “to the measure,” ablative of modus “manner, measure” (see mode (n.1)). Extended form modern-day attested from 1909.

In Shakespeare, often with a sense of “every-day, ordinary, commonplace.” Slang abbreviation mod first attested 1960. Modern art is from 1807 (by contrast to ancient); modern dance first attested 1912; first record of modern jazz is from 1954. Modern conveniences first recorded 1926.

1580s, “person of the present time” (contrasted to ancient, from modern (adj.). From 1897 as “one who is up to date.”


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  • Anti modernist

    a person who follows or favors ways, tendencies, etc. a person who advocates the study of subjects in preference to ancient classics. an adherent of in theological questions. of modernists or . n. 1580s, “a modern person,” from modern + -ist. Later, “a supporter of the modern” (as opposed to the classical), c.1700. As a […]

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