Skip to main content

New vs Novel vs New-fashioned vs Newfangled vs Modern vs Modernistic vs Original vs Fresh

Newnovelnew-fashionednewfangledmodernmodernisticoriginalfresh can all mean having very recently come into existence or use or into a connection, a position, or a state (as of being recognized).

A thing is new that has never before the time of its advent been known, thought of, manufactured, or experienced, or that is just ready for use, sale, or circulation, or that has just been acquired.

A person is new if he has just been taken into a military, business, social, or other group <a new soldier>  <a new stenographer>  <three new members>  or if he has received his first experience or if he has been renewed in spirit or in mind or in body.

A thing is novel which is not only new but so out of the ordinary course as to strike one as strange, unusual, or unfamiliar.

A thing is new-fashioned which is so different in form, shape, style, or character from what was previously known that it challenges curiosity or has only recently met general acceptance.

A thing is newfangled which strikes one as unnecessarily or as ingeniously novel; often, however, the term differs little from new except in suggesting disparagement.

A person or thing is modern that belongs to the present time or is especially characteristic of it; the term often implies up-to-dateness and novelty or a contrast with what has been long accepted and still is the choice of the conservative: in this special sense modernistic may be preferred to modern, but more often modernistic carries a contemptuous suggestion of the ephemerally novel <when I refer to modern music, I do not mean necessarily modernistic music, much of which is a pale afterglow of the great and original modernism of yesteryear —Virgil Thomson >  Modern, however, is always preferred to modernistic when contemporaneousness only is implied.

But modern is also applicable to things of more remote origin than any of the other terms; as opposed to ancient and medieval it usually implies reference to the centuries beginning with the full Renaissance up to the present.

Often, however, the dividing line between what is modern and what is too far distant in time to be called modern has to be supplied by the context.

A person or thing is original that is or produces something new or novel and, at the same time, the first of its kind.

A thing is fresh that is or seems so new that it has not had time to lose the signs of newness, such as liveliness, energy, brightness, or virginal quality.