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rip current

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noun
  1. undertow(def 1).

Origin of rip current

First recorded in 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
rip current in Science

rip current

  1. A strong, narrow surface current that flows rapidly away from the shore. Rip currents form when excess water that has accumulated along a shore due to wind and waves rushes back suddenly to deeper waters. Also called rip tide
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.