[ mod-ern ]
See synonyms for: modernmoderns on

  1. of or relating to present and recent time; not ancient or remote: modern city life.

  2. characteristic of present and recent time; contemporary; not antiquated or obsolete: modern viewpoints.

  1. of or relating to the historical period following the Middle Ages: modern European history.

  2. 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.

  3. (initial capital letter) new (def. 12).

  4. Typography. noting or descriptive of a font of numerals in which the body aligns on the baseline, as 1234567890. : Compare old style (def. 3).

  1. a person of modern times.

  2. a person whose views and tastes are modern.

  1. Printing. a type style differentiated from old style by heavy vertical strokes and straight serifs.

Origin of modern

First recorded in 1490–1500; from Middle French moderne, from Late Latin modernus, equivalent to Latin mod(o), mod(ō), “lately, just now” (originally ablative singular of modus mode1) + -ernus, adjective suffix of time

synonym study For modern

1. Modern, recent, late apply to that which is near to or characteristic of the present as contrasted with any other time. Modern is applied to those things that exist in the present age, especially in contrast to those of a former age or an age long past; hence the word sometimes has the connotation of up-to-date and, thus, good: modern ideas. That which is recent is separated from the present or the time of action by only a short interval; it is new, fresh, and novel: recent developments. Late may mean nearest to the present moment: the late reports on the battle.

Other words from modern

  • mod·ern·ly, adverb
  • mod·ern·ness, noun
  • an·ti·mod·ern, adjective, noun
  • an·ti·mod·ern·ly, adverb
  • an·ti·mod·ern·ness, noun
  • hy·per·mod·ern, adjective
  • non·mod·ern, adjective, noun
  • non·mod·ern·ly, adverb
  • non·mod·ern·ness, noun
  • pre·mod·ern, adjective
  • pro·mod·ern, adjective
  • pseu·do·mod·ern, adjective
  • quasi-modern, adjective
  • su·per·mod·ern, adjective
  • un·mod·ern, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use modern in a sentence

  • Modernly the name seemed briefly to suggest some one who made a lot of money out of nothing but audacity.

    Bunker Bean | Harry Leon Wilson
  • Minga's tone somehow had nothing that could be modernly recognized as rudeness.

    Under the Law | Edwina Stanton Babcock
  • Follow the fragile, venturesome forms of our delicate, modernly dressed ladies to the ball room.

  • But the schools and University of Copenhagen are modernly equipped.

    Through Scandinavia to Moscow | William Seymour Edwards
  • Palm-oil has brought them luxurious homes, modernly furnished.

    Stanley in Africa | James P. Boyd

British Dictionary definitions for modern


/ (ˈmɒdən) /

  1. of, involving, or befitting the present or a recent time; contemporary

  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of contemporary styles or schools of art, literature, music, etc, esp those of an experimental kind

  1. belonging or relating to the period in history from the end of the Middle Ages to the present

  1. a contemporary person

  2. 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

Origin of modern

C16: from Old French, from Late Latin modernus, from modō (adv) just recently, from modus mode

Derived forms of modern

  • modernly, adverb
  • modernness, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012