I'm searching for a word to indicate something that was current at some time in the past, but not necessarily now.

For example:

The doctor's report of June 2008 set forth the patient's ?{then-current} complaints.

  • 6
    In some contexts you could use contemporaneous —but why not stick with then-current? Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 23:37
  • Thank you for that suggestion. In my work I am reviewing and writing about numerous records. I was looking for some other way(s) to express it so I don't continually use "then-current" over and over.
    – Chris_C
    Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 0:18
  • 4
    Actually, in your example, and assuming the numerous records you're reviewing and editing are similar in nature, within the context of the sentence, it can be assumed that a report from June 2008 would not have current patient complaints. In my opinion, you could omit "then-current" or any other clarifier as long as the report's date is clearly part of the sentence. Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 0:41
  • 1
    You might also say, "... set forth the patient's complaints at the time."
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 1:30
  • In the example you gave, there is no need for "then current" or any synonym since a report could not give the patient's then-future complaints. You can just drop the qualifier in such cases.
    – mgkrebbs
    Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 3:45

5 Answers 5


prevailing: existing or most common at a particular time

"The doctor's report of June 2008 set forth the patient's prevailing complaints."

The OP's phrasing of 'then-current':
then in this sense does not agree with currentthen refers to a time in the past and current to the present.

The adjective for a particular time in the past corresponding to current is prevailing (at that time).

Use cases:

  • Practically the entire dried apricot crop was sold at the prevailing market price …
  • On the parent books, the declared dividend was valued at the prevailing USD/EUR exchange rate and recognised as dividend income and a dividend receivable.
  • Less than two per cent of the total consumption of newsprint consumed in the United States during the period in question was sold at gray market prices, and the remaining 98 plus per cent was sold at the prevailing base prices.
  • When both the status of the physical system and the signal timing are ideal, the traffic signal system can achieve its ideal performance which can generally represent the best performance the system can achieve under a specific prevailing condition.
  • In monitoring physical adjustment it is important to check out the symptoms prevailing at the time of assessment, and whether they have changed over time, as a result of treatment.
  • In nearly every case thus reported the symptoms prevailing at the time developed later into diphtheria.
  • At the time of issue, the bonds are generally priced at the prevailing market price.
  • The writer has tested this new tail-piece many times and has never seen any good results unless the remedy was indicated by the symptoms prevailing at the time.
  • 1
    It probably works, and I +1'd because it was the word I was looking for, but 'prevailing' does have different and conflicting usages. 'Then-current' perhaps ought to be allowed. 'Current' is obviously, after all, a deictic term – eg 'This is the Estimate for the current year, 1879-1880'. [Internet] Context informs the time-reference of the period being referred to as 'current', and 'then-current' obviously refers back to the period just mentioned in a passage. Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 12:28

I think you should say something like concurrent symptoms or complaints. In the current context it would be an almost literal translation of 'then-current'.

adj. taking place at the same time.

Here is a good example of the use of concurrent in this context. And here's another good one.

  • 2
    The answerer and the up voters do not seem to have consulted a dictionary for the correct meaning of concurrent.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 6:29
  • You should have referred to a dictionary instead of research papers.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 13:43

at the time TFD an idiom

At the particular period or moment in the past that is being discussed.

As in:

The doctor's report of June 2008 set forth the patient's complaints at the time.



I felt then-recent simply indicate it was not new at that point of time. Prevailing carries this sense of popularity somehow to me.

Most of the class used Ryszard Michalski's INDUCE system, a then-recent method of learning classifiers from data. - C4.5 Programs for Machine Learning, J. Ross Quinlan


A word which fits the requirements, but which does not work in the example, is period:

The Shakespearian actor was dressed in period costume.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.