a. Of or relating to recent times or the present: modern history.
b. Characteristic or expressive of recent times or the present; contemporary or up-to-date: a modern lifestyle; a modern way of thinking.
a. Of or relating to a recently developed or advanced style, technique, or technology: modern art; modern medicine.
b. Avant-garde; experimental.
- often Modern Linguistics Of, relating to, or being a living language or group of languages: Modern Italian; Modern Romance languages.
- One who lives in modern times.
- One who has modern ideas, standards, or beliefs.
- Printing Any of a variety of typefaces characterized by strongly contrasted heavy and thin parts.
Origin: French moderne
Origin: , from Old French
Origin: , from Late Latin modernus
Origin: , from Latin modo, in a certain manner, just now
Origin: , from modō
Origin: , ablative of modus, manner; see med- in Indo-European roots
Related Forms:Word History:
The word modern,
first recorded in 1585 in the sense “of present or recent times,” has traveled through the centuries designating things that inevitably must become old-fashioned as the word itself goes on to the next modern thing. We have now invented the word postmodern,
as if we could finally fix modern
in time, but even postmodern
(first recorded in 1949) will seem fusty in the end, perhaps sooner than modern
will. Going back to Late Latin modernus,
“modern,” which is derived from Latin modo
in the sense “just now,” the English word modern
(first recorded at the beginning of the 16th century) was not originally concerned with anything that could later be considered old-fashioned. It simply meant “being at this time, now existing,” an obsolete sense today. In the later 16th century, however, we begin to see the word contrasted with the word ancient
and also used of technology in a way that is clearly related to our own modern way of using the word. Modern
was being applied specifically to what pertained to present times and also to what was new and not old-fashioned. Thus in the 19th and 20th centuries the word could be used to designate a movement in art, modernism, which is now being followed by postmodernism.