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From Latin contemporāneus (contemporary), from con- (prefix indicating a being or bringing together of several objects) + tempor-, tempus (time, period, age) + -aneus (-aneous, suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to’) (compare Late Latin temporāneus (opportune, timely)).



contemporaneous (not comparable)

  1. Existing or created in the same period of time.
    Look in other contemporaneous works to see whether that idea was common then.
    • 1973 May, Harun Kofi Wangara, quoting Cheikh Anta Diop, “African Perspective on History”, in John H[arold] Johnson, editor, Black World, volume XXIII, number 4, Chicago, Ill.: Johnson Publishing Company, published February 1974, ISSN 0006-4319, OCLC 4717946, pages 58–59:
      You know that Meroïtic is an ancient Nubian writing system of the third, or fourth century B.C., and is a script which conceals a typically African language. [] [I]f this script is deciphered, we will have in that respect the testimony of an African language which goes back 2,400 years, that is to say [back to a period] fairly contemporaneous with Latin and other languages of antiquity.
    • 2012 July 12, Sam Adams, “Ice Age: Continental Drift”, in The A.V. Club[1], archived from the original on 25 March 2014:
      Preceded by a Simpsons short shot in 3-D—perhaps the only thing more superfluous than a fourth Ice Age movie—Ice Age: Continental Drift finds a retinue of vaguely contemporaneous animals coping with life in the post-Pangaea age.

Usage notesEdit

For events which occur at precisely the same time, simultaneous is used.


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