Also found in: Thesaurus.


1. Belonging to the same period of time: a fact documented by two contemporary sources.
2. Of about the same age.
3. Current; modern: contemporary trends in design.
n. pl. con·tem·po·rar·ies
1. One of the same time or age: Shelley and Keats were contemporaries.
2. A person of the present age.

[Medieval Latin contemporārius : Latin com-, com- + Latin tempus, tempor-, time + Latin -ārius, -ary.]

con·tem′po·rar′i·ly (-tĕm′pə-râr′ə-lē) adv.
Synonyms: contemporary, contemporaneous, simultaneous, synchronous, concurrent, coincident, concomitant
These adjectives mean existing or occurring at the same time. Contemporary and contemporaneous often refer to historical or indefinite time periods, with contemporary used more often of persons and contemporaneous of events and facts: The composer Salieri was contemporary with Mozart. A rise in interest rates is often contemporaneous with an increase in inflation.
Simultaneous suggests a briefer or more definite moment in time and often implies deliberate coordination: The activists organized simultaneous demonstrations in many major cities.
Synchronous refers to related events that occur together, usually as part of a process or design: "A single, synchronous flowering and seed-bearing ... is common in bamboos in both the Old World and the New" (David G. Campbell).
Concurrent refers to events or conditions, often of a parallel nature, that coexist in time: The administration had to deal with concurrent crises on three different continents.
Coincident applies to events occurring at the same time without implying a relationship: "The resistance to the Pope's authority ... is pretty nearly coincident with the rise of the Ottomans" (John Henry Newman).
Concomitant is used of concurrent events, one of which is viewed as attendant on the other: "The sweetness of naturally low-calorie fruits, vegetables, and grains may be enhanced without a concomitant increase in caloric content" (Leona Fitzmaurice).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.contemporaries - all the people living at the same time or of approximately the same agecontemporaries - all the people living at the same time or of approximately the same age
people - (plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively; "old people"; "there were at least 200 people in the audience"
youth culture - young adults (a generational unit) considered as a cultural class or subculture
peer group - contemporaries of the same status
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
In this scrap-book is such testimony relating to my shady side, as I have within the past ten years been able to cut from the columns of my competitors in the business of elevating humanity to a higher plane of mind and morals - my 'loathsome contemporaries.'"
We can understand that the matter seemed like that to contemporaries. It naturally seemed to Napoleon that the war was caused by England's intrigues (as in fact he said on the island of St.
This saved me a great deal of heated controversy with my contemporaries, but I had it out in many angry reveries with Dr.
'Mandeville,' however, is a very minor figure when compared with his great contemporaries, especially with the chief of them, Geoffrey Chaucer.
It has been said that Marmaduke deduced his origin from the contemporaries and friends of Penn.
At all events, such was the universal practice of the country and the times; and Judge Temple, so far from ranking among the lowest of his judicial contemporaries in the courts of the new counties, felt himself, and was unanimously acknowledged to be, among the first.
Yet what Emperor could escape immortality who had Tu Fu and Li Po for contemporaries, Ch`ang-an for his capital, and T`ai Chen of a thousand songs to wife?
In her family's eyes he had no ordinary, definite career and position in society, while his contemporaries by this time, when he was thirty-two, were already, one a colonel, and another a professor, another director of a bank and railways, or president of a board like Oblonsky.
As with all truly new things, the elderly God took some getting used to; and, as is always the case for contemporaries, being close does not necessarily help one see clearly.
His commercial genius, as he started up in business, was to pick up the kind of work that his Beaux-Arts trained contemporaries would have looked down on.

Full browser ?