of late occurrence, appearance, or origin; lately happening, done, made, etc.: recent events; a recent trip.
not long past: in recent years.
of or belonging to a time not long past.
(initial capital letter) Geology. noting or pertaining to the present epoch, originating at the end of the glacial period, about 10,000 years ago, and forming the latter half of the Quaternary Period; Holocene.


Also called Holocene. (initial capital letter) Geology. the Recent Epoch or Series.

Origin of recent

1525–35; < Latin recent- (stem of recēns) fresh, new
Related formsre·cen·cy, re·cent·ness, nounre·cent·ly, adverbqua·si-re·cent, adjectivequa·si-re·cent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for recent

1. fresh, new. See modern.

Antonyms for recent

1. early, old. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for recentness

Historical Examples of recentness

  • Men's minds still were shuddering from the recentness of the escape.

  • And its recentness in human history may account for some of our blindness to this great fact.

    How to Analyze People on Sight

    Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict

  • How often had he faced a widowed mother and her daughter, in mourning so deep as to suggest the recentness of their loss.

    Cobwebs and Cables

    Hesba Stretton

British Dictionary definitions for recentness



having appeared, happened, or been made not long ago; modern, fresh, or new
Derived Formsrecently, adverbrecentness or recency, noun

Word Origin for recent

C16: from Latin recens fresh; related to Greek kainos new


adjective, noun

geology another word for Holocene
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

Word Origin and History for recentness



early 15c., from Latin recentem (nominative recens) "lately done or made, new, fresh, young," from re- (see re-) + PIE root *ken- "fresh, new, young" (cf. Greek kainos "new;" Sanskrit kanina- "young;" Old Irish cetu- "first;" Old Church Slavonic načino "to begin," koni "beginning"). Related: Recently; recentness (1670s, but OED reports recency (1610s) was "Common in 19th c.").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

recentness in Science



See Holocene.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.