1. genre of art and literature that makes a self-conscious break with previous genres
2. the quality of being current or of the present
a shopping mall would instill a spirit of modernity into this village
3. practices typical of contemporary life or thought
4. Modern practice; a thing of recent date; esp., a modern usage or mode of expression.
5. Certain methods and tendencies which, in Biblical questions, apologetics, and the theory of dogma, in the endeavor to reconcile the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church with the conclusions of modern science, replace the authority of the church by purely subjective criteria; -- so called officially by Pope Pius X.