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

  • adj. Of, belonging to, or occurring at a time immediately before the present.
  • adj. Modern; new.
  • adj. Geology Of, belonging to, or denoting the Holocene Epoch. See Table at geologic time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having happened a short while ago.
  • adj. Up-to-date; not old-fashioned or dated.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of late origin, existence, or occurrence; lately come; not of remote date, antiquated style, or the like; not already known, familiar, worn out, trite, etc.; fresh; novel; new; modern.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the present or existing epoch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to time just before the present; not long past in occurrence or existence; lately happening or being; newly appearing, done, or made: as, recent events; recent importations; recent memories; recent news; a recent speech.
  • Of modern date, absolutely or relatively; not of primitive or remote origin; belonging to or occurring in times not far removed.
  • Still fresh in quality or existence; not old or degenerate; unchanged by time: said of things liable to rapid change, as newly gathered plants or specimens in natural history.
  • In geology, of or pertaining to the epoch regarded as the present from a geological point of view.
  • Lately come; not long removed or separated.
  • Synonyms Late, Fresh, etc. See new.

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

  • adj. new
  • adj. of the immediate past or just previous to the present time
  • n. approximately the last 10,000 years


Middle English, new, fresh, from Latin recēns, recent-; see ken- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin recēns (genitive recentis). (Wiktionary)


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