- Electricity. an electric current of constant direction, having a magnitude that does not vary or varies only slightly. Abbreviation: dc
Compare alternating current.
Origin of direct current
First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for direct current
It will be necessary to obtain the use of a direct-current ammeter for this purpose.The Boy Mechanic, Book 2
This arrangement can be used with direct-current circuits only.Motion Picture Operation, Stage Electrics and Illusions
Henry C. Horstmann
The engine is belted to a direct-current generator of the shunt-wound type.Farm Mechanics
Herbert A. Shearer
This humming sound is quite different from the occasional hissing of a direct-current arc.
The alternating-current arc-lamp was developed after the appearance of the direct-current open-arc and has been widely used.
- a continuous electric current that flows in one direction only, without substantial variation in magnitudeAbbreviation: DC Compare alternating current
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- An electric current that moves in one direction with constant strength. Batteries are a source of direct current. Direct current is not used for long-distance power transmission because it is difficult to step up the voltage to a level that is efficient for energy transfer and then to step the voltage back down again for safe domestic use. Compare alternating current. See Notes at current Tesla.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
DC is usually supplied by batteries.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.