I feel like there's a really obvious word but I cannot bring it to mind. What word can I use to describe how recent or "fresh" something is? I've considered "recency" but it doesn't quite have the connotations I'm after. I want to describe how recently something was used.

I don't intend using it in a sentence but rather as one metric among several. Example metrics:

  • Experience (rated low to high)
  • Appeal (rated low to high)
  • Recency (rated 1 year ago to now)

I'd really prefer a single word here, but that's under the assumption that there is actually something better than "recency".

  • 'Topicality' means 'the quality of being of interest at the present time, or of relating to things that are happening at present' [CED] and could be used as a metric descriptor. Jun 12, 2019 at 14:05
  • How will you arrive at the metric you are naming? What are you measuring? 'recency' is the time elapsed since the time something happened. businessdictionary.com/definition/recency.html In your example you describe 'rated 1 year ago to now' which is a date range. Clarity on the formula you are using will help clarify the word you are looking for.
    – David D
    Jun 12, 2019 at 17:30

5 Answers 5


I'd suggest currency. It works in a couple of ways, illustrated in the following definition:

currency noun
3. General acceptance or use; prevalence: the currency of a slang term.
4. The state of being current; up-to-dateness: Can you check the currency of this address?
TFD Online

Note that the main meaning for this noun involves money, which means that in certain circumstances its use may possibly necessitate a bit of disambiguation. But that shouldn't keep it from being used effectively.


Freshness can represent recency or relative newness. From Oxford Learner's Dictionary:

  1. ​[uncountable] the fact of being made or experienced recently

    Based on the freshness of the tyre tracks, they were only one or two hours' drive ahead of us.

  2. [uncountable, singular] the quality of being new or different

    I like the freshness of his approach to the problem.

Other meanings pertain to food (fresh food is recently picked) or to qualities attributed to something being new or recent ("the cool freshness of the water"). In the context of a metric with a date range, recency would be assumed.

So one of the metrics could involve the freshness of a specific sample, and could help you identify when you need to get fresher samples.


Consider activity:

1 : the quality or state of being active : behavior or actions of a particular kind

In your context, I have often seen the phrase recent activity to refer to tracking the most recent actions of someone or something.


Trend (noun)

a general direction in which something is developing or changing.


Depending on the sentence, this might not work, but you could use the word novelty.
Dictionary Definition:
nov·el·ty - noun, singular
state or quality of being novel, new, or unique; newness
Example: the novelty of a new job.

  • In order for this to be a good answer, you need to provide a dictionary definition and a link to the online source. Jun 12, 2019 at 18:55

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