contemporary, contemporaneous
1. Contemporary has two main meanings: (1) ‘living or occurring at the same time’, both as an adjective (often followed by with) and as a noun (often followed by of):

• Austen Layard, a contemporary of Wallace who had discovered the ancient city of Nineveh —L. Blair, 1988

• The finest novelists contemporary with him, particularly George Eliot and Hardy, are drawn to describe similar interiors for related, although slightly different, reasons —P. Tristam, 1989

and (2) ‘existing or done at the present time’ (as in contemporary literature) and hence ‘up-to-date, modern’ (as in contemporary ideas / contemporary furnishings). The logic of this sense, which appears at first sight to be inconsistent with the first, is that it is elliptical for ‘contemporary with the present’. The risk of ambiguity is largely theoretical, although it might occur in a sentence such as music performed on contemporary instruments, where it is not clear whether contemporary refers to the time of the music or the time of the performance.
2. Contemporaneous (17c) is an adjective restricted to the first meaning, and is available when all risk of misunderstanding needs to be eliminated. It is found surprisingly often, especially in historical contexts:

• Built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, they are contemporaneous with many of the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe —S. Stewart, 1991

• Workers…experienced an absence of light and air that made conditions even in contemporaneous London and Paris seem favourable —S. Lash, 1990.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • contemporaneous — I adjective coeval, coexistent, coexisting, coincident, coinciding, coinstantaneous, concomitant, concurrent, concurring, contemporary, correspondent, corresponding, quod eodem tempore est, simultaneous, synchronal, synchronistic, synchronous… …   Law dictionary

  • Contemporaneous — Con*tem po*ra ne*ous, a. [L. contemporaneus; con + tempus time. See {Temporal}, and cf. {Contemporaneous}.] Living, existing, or occurring at the same time; contemporary. [1913 Webster] The great age of Jewish philosophy, that of Aben Esra,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contemporaneous — 1650s, from L.L. contemporaneus contemporary, from the same source as CONTEMPORARY (Cf. contemporary) but with a form after L.L. temporaneous timely. Related: Contemporaneously; contemporaneity …   Etymology dictionary

  • contemporaneous — *contemporary, coeval, coetaneous, synchronous, simultaneous, coincident, concomitant, concurrent Contrasted words: *preceding, antecedent, previous, prior, foregoing: following, ensuing, succeeding (see FOLLOW) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • contemporaneous — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ existing at or occurring in the same period of time. DERIVATIVES contemporaneity noun contemporaneously adverb contemporaneousness noun. ORIGIN Latin, from tempus time …   English terms dictionary

  • contemporaneous — [kən tem΄pə rā′nē əs] adj. [L contemporaneus < com , with + tempus: see CONTEMPORARY] existing or happening in the same period of time SYN. CONTEMPORARY contemporaneity [kən tem΄pə rə nē′ə tē; ] also [ kən tem΄pə rənā′ə tē] n.… …   English World dictionary

  • contemporaneous — con|tem|po|ra|ne|ous [ kən,tempə reıniəs ] adjective FORMAL happening or existing during the same period of time: There are several contemporaneous accounts of the meeting. contemporaneous with: His work is contemporaneous with the beginnings of… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • contemporaneous — UK [kənˌtempəˈreɪnɪəs] / US adjective formal happening or existing during the same period of time There are several contemporaneous accounts of the meeting. contemporaneous with: His work is contemporaneous with the beginnings of the Pop Art… …   English dictionary

  • contemporaneous — adj. (formal) contemporaneous with * * * [kənˌtempə reɪnɪəs] (formal) contemporaneous with …   Combinatory dictionary

  • contemporaneous — con|tem|po|ra|ne|ous [kənˌtempəˈreıniəs] adj [Date: 1600 1700; : Latin; Origin: contemporaneus, from com ( COM ) + tempus time ] formal happening or done in the same period of time = ↑contemporary contemporaneous with ▪ Built in the 13th century …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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