con·tem·po·rar·y [kuhn-tem-puh-rer-ee] (previously 04-07-13)
1. existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time: Newton's discovery of the calculus was contemporary with that of Leibniz.
2. of about the same age or date: a Georgian table with a contemporary wig stand.
3. of the present time; modern: a lecture on the contemporary novel.
4. a person belonging to the same time or period with another or others.
5. a person of the same age as another.
Can be confused: contemporaneous. (see synonym study)
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1. coexistent, concurrent, simultaneous.
Contemporary, contemporaneous, coeval, coincident all mean happening or existing at the same time. Contemporary often refers to persons or their acts or achievements: Hemingway and Fitzgerald, though contemporary, shared few values. Contemporaneous is applied chiefly to events: the rise of industrialism, contemporaneous with the spread of steam power. Coeval refers either to very long periods of time—an era or an eon—or to remote or long ago times: coeval stars, shining for millenia with equal brilliance; coeval with the dawning of civilization. Coincident means occurring at the same time but without causal or other relationships: prohibition, coincident with the beginning of the 1920s.
Origin: 1625–35; < Late Latin contempor- (see contemporize) + -ary
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