Meaning of MODERN in English

mod ‧ ern S1 W1 /ˈmɒdn $ ˈmɑːdərn/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ modernity , ↑ modernization , ↑ modernism , modernist, ↑ modernity , ↑ modernizer , ↑ modernization ; adjective : ↑ modern , ↑ modernist , ↑ modernistic ; verb : ↑ modernize ]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Late Latin ; Origin: modernus , from Latin modo 'just now' , from modus ; ⇨ ↑ mode ]

1 . [only before noun] belonging to the present time or most recent time SYN contemporary :

Such companies must change if they are to compete in the modern world.

They are the youngest children in modern times to face murder charges.

Smaller families are a feature of modern society.

Computers are an essential part of modern life.

a book about modern history

The original supermarkets were small by modern standards.

Modern Greek/Hebrew etc (=the form of the language used today)

2 . made or done using the most recent designs or methods SYN up-to-date :

A lot of progress has been made with the use of modern technology.

advances in modern medicine

modern surgical techniques

3 . [only before noun] modern art, music, literature etc uses styles that have been recently developed and are very different from traditional styles SYN contemporary :

an exhibition of modern art

modern dance

4 . having very recent attitudes or ways of behaving SYN progressive OPP traditional :

The school is very modern in its approach to sex education.

⇨ ↑ secondary modern

• • •


■ nouns

▪ the modern world

The island has hardly been affected by the modern world.

▪ modern society

In modern society, elderly relatives rarely live with their children.

▪ modern times

It was one of the greatest disasters of modern times.

▪ the modern age/era/period (=now, rather than in the past)

In the modern age, television is the main means of mass communication.

▪ modern life

These problems are a major part of modern life.

▪ modern man (=people today)

Modern man gets much less exercise in his daily life than his ancestors.

▪ modern history British English (=recent history, as a subject of study)

a degree in modern history

▪ modern languages British English (=languages that are spoken today, as a subject of study)

French, German and other modern languages

▪ the modern equivalent of something (=something with the same importance or purpose as something from the past)

In their own minds they are the modern equivalent of highwaymen.

• • •


▪ modern something that is modern uses the most recent designs or methods:

The house looks very modern.


the city’s modern public transportation system

▪ the latest [only before noun] the newest that is available:

The camera uses the latest digital technology.


the very latest mobile phones


the latest news

▪ up-to-date using the most modern technology, ideas, information etc:

The hospital has the most up-to-date equipment in the country.

▪ newfangled [only before noun] informal modern – used when you disapprove of something and do not think it as good as the things that existed before:

He doesn’t believe in these new-fangled gadgets.

▪ high-tech, hi-tech using very advanced technology, especially electronic equipment and computers:

Modern tractors are full of high-tech equipment, including GPS systems.


It’s all very hi-tech.

▪ state-of-the-art using the newest and most advanced features, ideas, and materials that are available:

state-of-the-art technology


a state-of-the-art home entertainment system


The brand new arts centre is state-of-the-art.


▪ the latest technology/equipment/news

▪ up-to-date equipment/information/book/map

▪ new-fangled device/contraption/gadget

▪ high-tech industry/company/equipment

▪ state-of-the-art technology/equipment

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.