Meaning of “contemporary” in the English Dictionary

"contemporary" in British English

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contemporaryadjective

uk /kənˈtem.pər.ər.i/ us /kənˈtem.pə.rer.i/

contemporary adjective (EXISTING NOW)

B2 existing or happening now:

Although the play was written hundreds of years ago, it still has a contemporary (= modern) feel to it.

More examples

  • These are radical changes which will alter the complexion of the British contemporary dance scene.
  • The contemporary dialogue for me struck a slightly discordant note.
  • She is widely regarded as the high priestess of contemporary dance.
  • She gave a series of lectures at Warwick University last year on contemporary British writers.
  • It is a tenet of contemporary psychology that an individual's mental health is supported by having good social networks.

contemporary adjective (OF SAME PERIOD)

belonging to the same or a stated period in the past:

Almost all of the contemporary accounts of the event have been lost.
Most of the writers he was contemporary with were interested in the same subjects.

contemporarynoun [ C ]

uk /kənˈtem.pər.ər.i/ us /kənˈtem.pə.rer.i/

(Definition of “contemporary” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"contemporary" in American English

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contemporaryadjective

us /kənˈtem·pəˌrer·i/

contemporary adjective (EXISTING NOW)

existing or happening now:

contemporary literature/music

contemporary adjective (OF THE SAME PERIOD)

belonging to the same or a stated period in the past:

She’s been reading contemporary accounts of New York from the early 1900s.

contemporarynoun [ C ]

us /kənˈtem·pəˌrer·i/

contemporary noun [ C ] (PERSON OF THE SAME PERIOD)

someone living during the same period as another:

Franklin and Jefferson were contemporaries.

contemporary noun [ C ] (PERSON EXISTING NOW)

a person who is the same age as you:

The language you use with your contemporaries may not be appropriate in the classroom.

(Definition of “contemporary” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"contemporary" in Business English

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contemporaryadjective

uk /kənˈtempərəri, kənˈtempəri/ us

existing or happening now:

There is a need to remain responsive to the ever-changing challenges and opportunities of the contemporary business environment.
While there is a small but steady market in traditional bespoke shoes, there are those who want something with more of a contemporary design.

(Definition of “contemporary” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)