current versus contemporary

These two words are very similar some of the time, but can also be very different.

current is an adjective that means “belonging to the present time, happening now”, for example:

  • I like to follow current events.
  • My current job will end next year.

It also means “in common or general use”:

  • Some English words are no longer current.

contemporary is an adjective that means “living or occurring at the same time”:

  • This 1812 battle scene was painted by a contemporary artist. (In other words, the artist lived at the same time as the battle.)

It also has a meaning similar to “current” (belonging to the present time) but is used in different contexts:

  • Doctors say that obesity is a serious problem in our contemporary society.
  • Do you like contemporary art?

contemporary is also a noun that means “a person or thing living or existing at the same time as another”:

  • He was a contemporary of Shakespeare.
  • I still keep in touch with my contemporaries at school.
  • Erica Soto says:

    Thanks plenty for the valuable lessons… can english club makes more words such as All, AL, In, On, etc…
    thank you

  • Sadjad says:


  • tee says:

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  • anjibabu says:

    its give good knowledge. i understood much more. feel very happy.
    with Regards…
    anji babu

  • Linda k hollywood says:

    Verb contemporary and versus is meaning at the same
    time or meanwhile or simultaneous.

    Happy Holiday!
    Linda k

  • laleh amirkhosravi says:

    this was the first time using english club web site!I’m raelly wonderded, so let me know how can i help my students to use this web site for improving their english knowledge???
    thanks alot

  • Linda k hollywood says:

    Very interesting verb. I really like it.
    When contemporary is use in reference to something
    in the past its meaning is not always clear.

    Have a nice day !
    Linda Kosolsak

  • lamis says:

    thank you & i like your teaching way thank u again

  • Nataly says:

    Thank you very much indeed for your clear explanation.From now on I will be able to use your tips for my students. I hope to learn smth. more.!!!!!!!

  • Gustavo Bernuy says:

    I am 100% sure that in this page I will learn more the exactly meaning of some words

  • Asep Muhajir says:

    Well, forget what I said earlier, as I still seem to find it confusing to differentiate the following differences, as you mentioned.

    “It also has a meaning similar to “current” (belonging to the present time) but is used in DIFFERENT contexts:”.

    Could you please clarify on this?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Asep Muhajir says:

    Very useful! That gives me a concise explanation on the differences of these two words. Appreciate it.

  • abbas says:

    Iam very grateful for your explanation and I belive is very useful for me please be so kind and continue.

    best regards.

  • kamel says:

    Your effort is highly appreciated. Thank you my darling.

  • Truc says:

    Woa,it’s too difficult to differentiate.I mean their meaning and issues.I’ll try to get it.Thanks for your explanation.Have a nice day!

  • jwanesu says:

    mean it you wonderfully set the explanation

  • jwanesu says:

    good expanation

  • jintana says:

    Thank you so much. Your explanation is useful.

  • Natalia says:

    Thenks a lot for your work. Very useful information.

  • Iraivasan says:

    It will be very helpful to everybody who is trying to communicate in english. thank you so much.

  • Boumahdi says:

    that’s really very interesting. Thanks for the effort. Hope to continue

  • zehra(turkey) says:


  • kamal says:

    thank you so much mr josef!
    No doubt this is so interesting to know about!

  • SalihEmrre says:

    thank you very much for this good explanation, it is very useful.

  • Lalita JS says:

    Good explanation. I often recommend this web site to my students.

  • Helen says:

    I think it’ll be very useful for my students.

  • Nataliya Dubrava says:

    I was wondering what is the meaning of the word “contemporary” and couldn’t find right explanation.Many Russian in America highly appreciate your work,Josef!Thanks a lot!

  • hamidrezashababi says:

    very useful,pleas continue…

  • Margaret Pogonowski says:

    now it’s clear ! Thanks

  • Carlos says:

    Very useful!!! Thanks.-

  • guswarni anwar says:


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