I wasn't sure I had ever used/heard the word recency before but, when trying to come up for a word to describe proximity in time, it popped into my head. It's in the Merriam-Webster dictionary so I must have come across it somewhere before. They do not list a synonym. Is anyone aware of one?

  • Yesterday?
    – JLG
    May 17, 2012 at 13:24
  • Thanks for all your suggestions! I have +1'd several that I found helpful - In the end, I think I just have to become comfortable with its use in the future. I find that @Kris suggestion of "temporal proximity" might also be an appropriate alternative for my specific context. Cheers May 18, 2012 at 8:05
  • .....huh. I could have sworn there was a word like this (other than "recency" itself), but I can't think of any. Feb 7, 2014 at 21:38

5 Answers 5


As far as recency is concerned, recentness appears to be the only synonym available.

However, from what I understand from your question, temporal proximity is what fits your need best.

  • 1
    Um, assuming that those needs don't include "not sounding like Spock." Feb 7, 2014 at 21:36

There are some synonyms, but the choice of which one to use depends on context.

  • Novelty
  • Freshness
  • Youth

If you want to describe the state of having just happened, recency is your best bet, barring other forms of the same word (recentness and, even more rarely, recentity).


Here are a few not mentioned yet:

  • newness, modernness
  • presence (which implies spatial proximity, too)
  • contemporaneity

There are a whole lot of synonyms for recent, so it is not hard to make a noun out of one of them. The following may fit:

  • currentness
  • contemporariness


See also on this page 'synchrony'.

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