WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
con•tem•po•rar•y /kənˈtɛmpəˌrɛri/USA pronunciation   adj., n., pl.  -rar•ies. 
adj. [before a noun]
  1. existing, occurring, or living at the same time:Hitler was contemporary with Mussolini.
  2. of the present time; modern:contemporary architecture.

n. [countable]
  1. a person or thing belonging to the same time or period with another:Hemingway and Fitzgerald were contemporaries.
  2. a person of the same age as another;
    a teenager and her contemporaries.
con•tem•po•rar•i•ly /kənˌtɛmpəˈrɛrəli/USA pronunciation  adv. 
con•tem•po•rar•i•ness, n. [uncountable]See -temp-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
con•tem•po•rar•y  (kən tempə rer′ē),USA pronunciation adj., n., pl.  -rar•ies. 
  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.

  1. a person belonging to the same time or period with another or others.
  2. a person of the same age as another.
con•tem′po•rari•ly, adv. 
con•tempo•rar′i•ness, n. 
  • Late Latin contempor- (see contemporize) + -ary
  • 1625–35
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged 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.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

contemporary /kənˈtɛmprərɪ/ adj
  1. belonging to the same age; living or occurring in the same period of time
  2. existing or occurring at the present time
  3. conforming to modern or current ideas in style, fashion, design, etc
  4. having approximately the same age as one another
n ( pl -raries)
  1. a person living at the same time or of approximately the same age as another
  2. something that is contemporary
  3. a rival newspaper
Etymology: 17th Century: from Medieval Latin contemporārius, from Latin com- together + temporārius relating to time, from tempus time

conˈtemporarily adv conˈtemporariness n USAGE
Since contemporary can mean either of the same period or of the present period, it is best to avoid this word where ambiguity might arise, as in a production of Othello in contemporary dress. Modern dress or Elizabethan dress should be used in this example to avoid ambiguity

'contemporary' also found in these entries:
Collocations: [revered, respected, esteemed] by her contemporaries, [Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Thatcher and Reagan] were contemporaries., was a contemporary of [Gaudi, Darwin, Hemingway, Mozart], more...

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