from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to recent times or the present: modern history.
  • adj. Characteristic or expressive of recent times or the present; contemporary or up-to-date: a modern lifestyle; a modern way of thinking.
  • adj. Of or relating to a recently developed or advanced style, technique, or technology: modern art; modern medicine.
  • adj. Avant-garde; experimental.
  • adj. Linguistics Of, relating to, or being a living language or group of languages: Modern Italian; Modern Romance languages.
  • n. One who lives in modern times.
  • n. One who has modern ideas, standards, or beliefs.
  • n. Printing Any of a variety of typefaces characterized by strongly contrasted heavy and thin parts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to the current time and style.
  • n. Someone who lives in modern times.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the present time, or time not long past; late; not ancient or remote in past time; of recent period
  • adj. New and common; trite; commonplace.
  • n. A person of modern times; -- opposed to ancient.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to the present era, or to a period extending from a not very remote past to the passing time; late or recent, absolutely or relatively; not ancient or remote in time.
  • Not antiquated or obsolete; in harmony with the ideas and habits of the present: as, modern fashions; modern views of life.
  • Common; trite; general; familiar; trivial.
  • In heraldry See ancient, 5.
  • Synonyms Recent, Late, etc. See new.
  • n. One who has lived or lives in modern times, or who lives at the present day, in distinction from one of the ancients, or from one who lived in time past.
  • n. One who adopts new views and opinions.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. ahead of the times
  • n. a contemporary person
  • adj. characteristic of present-day art and music and literature and architecture
  • adj. belonging to the modern era; since the Middle Ages
  • n. a typeface (based on an 18th century design by Gianbattista Bodoni) distinguished by regular shape and hairline serifs and heavy downstrokes
  • adj. used of a living language; being the current stage in its development
  • adj. relating to a recently developed fashion or style


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French moderne, from Old French, from Late Latin modernus, from Latin modo, in a certain manner, just now, from modō, ablative of modus, manner; see med- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French moderne, from Late Latin modernus; from Latin modo ("just now"), originally ablative of modus ("measure"); hence, by measure, "just now". See also mode.


  • Edouard Drumont's book Jewish France signaled the rise of modern anti-Semitism, attacking Jews for capitalism, radicalism, and other “modern problems.


  • This middle zone of power and mastery is the path of the modern transcendentalist, and the one who walks it and lives in unification with its laws is the _modern transcendentalist_ of the new civilization.

    Freedom Talks No. II

  • Owing to the very fact that nothing is more modern than this thorough morbidness, this dilatoriness and excessive irritability of the nervous machinery, Wagner is the _modern artist par excellence_, the Cagliostro of modernity.

    The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms.

  • In the modern world, England and America are the most conspicuous for enlightened views of freedom, and bold vindication of the equal rights of man; yet in these two countries slave laws have been framed as bad as they were in Pagan, iron-hearted Rome; and the customs are in some respects more oppressive; -- _modern_ slavery unquestionably wears its very worst aspect in the Colonies of England and the United

    An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans

  • II. vii.156 (272,3) [Full of wise saws and modern instances] I am in doubt whether _modern_ is in this place used for absurd; the meaning seems to be, that the justice is full of _old_ sayings and _late_ examples.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • IV. iii.170 (508,9) A modern ecstacy] I believe _modern_ is only

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • III. ii.120 (85,1) Which modern lamentation might have mov'd] This line is left out of the later editions, I suppose because the editors did not remember that Shakespeare uses _modern_ for _common_, or _slight_: I believe it was in his time confounded in colloquial language with

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • Abraham, who made a series of videos lambasting the games in favour of Battlefield 3, argued that he was entitled to use the domain as he pleased because the term "modern warfare" is "generic". - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • It was the use of the term "modern" as a preface to philanthropy that truly resonated with me given the fact that in a room full of upper management and c-level suite business-gladiators, if you will, Mr. Simmons stood out as one of few Black men.

    Pedro L. Rodriguez: Russell Simmons: Face of Modern American Business?

  • According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: the word modern was first recorded in 1585 in the sense 'of present or recent times'.

    Pankaj Jain, Ph.D.: Hinduism And Modernity


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