Do the words contemporary and contemplate relate to each other in any way?


1 Answer 1


The OED explains that contemplate comes from

L. contemplāre, orig. deponent contemplārī, to survey, observe, behold, consider, contemplate, f. con- + templum ‘an open place for observation, marked out by the augur with his staff’

And that contemporary comes from:

L. type contemporāri-us, f. con- together + tempus, tempor- time, temporārius of or belonging to time; the actual formations in L. were contemporālis and contemporāneus

So there seems no surface relationship between tempus and templum.

  • 3
    Wiktionary suggests tempus and templum have a shared Proto-Indo-European origin in *temp- (“to stretch, string”)
    – Henry
    Aug 30, 2012 at 18:36

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