Modern means contemporary or in the now. A beehive hairdo is not so modern, though depending on the wearer, it could still be hip.

When talking about time, modern is used to mean what's happening right now. Texting your friends rather than calling them is modern. A modern building is more likely to be made out of glass and steel than bricks. In art, however, modern has a more specific meaning, as it defines a style of art produced from the 1860s to the 1970s and includes everyone from Monet to Miro. To be correct, use contemporary to mean art that is being created now.

Definitions of modern
  1. adjective
    ahead of the times
    synonyms: advanced, forward-looking, innovative
    favoring or promoting progress
  2. adjective
    relating to a recently developed fashion or style
    “their offices are in a modern skyscraper”
    synonyms: mod, modernistic
    fashionable, stylish
    being or in accordance with current social fashions
  3. adjective
    characteristic of present-day art and music and literature and architecture
    not classical
  4. adjective
    belonging to the modern era; since the Middle Ages
    modern art”
    modern furniture”
    modern history”
    “totem poles are modern rather than prehistoric”
    occurring in or belonging to the present time
    being or occurring at an advanced period of time or after a usual or expected time
    contemporary, modern-day
    characteristic of the present
    (used as a combining form) recent or new
    red-brick, redbrick
    of or relating to British universities founded in the late 19th century or the 20th century
    extremely modern
    of or relating to a popularization of art deco that used bright colors and rectangular shapes
    not of long duration; having just (or relatively recently) come into being or been made or acquired or discovered
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    not modern; of or characteristic of an earlier time
    belonging to a period before a war especially the American Civil War
    relating to the time before automobiles (and other inventions) changed the way people lived in industrialized nations
    gothic, mediaeval, medieval
    as if belonging to the Middle Ages; old-fashioned and unenlightened
    characteristic of former times especially in Europe
    typical of the moral standards or conduct of the age of Queen Victoria
    of long duration; not new
    earlier than the present time; no longer current
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  5. noun
    a contemporary person
  6. noun
    a typeface (based on an 18th century design by Gianbattista Bodoni) distinguished by regular shape and hairline serifs and heavy downstrokes
    synonyms: Bodoni, Bodoni font, modern font
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    old style, old style font
    a typeface (based on an 18th century design) distinguished by irregularity and slanted ascender serifs and little contrast between light and heavy strokes
    type of:
    proportional font
    any font whose different characters have different widths
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