[kur-uhnt, kuhr-]



Nearby words

  1. currency,
  2. currency bar,
  3. currency bond,
  4. currency note,
  5. currency principle,
  6. current account,
  7. current assets,
  8. current balance,
  9. current cost,
  10. current density

Origin of current

1250–1300; < Latin current- (stem of currēns) running (present participle of currere); replacing Middle English curraunt < Anglo-French < Latin as above; see -ent

Related forms
Can be confusedcurrant current

Synonym study

2. Current, present, prevailing, prevalent refer to something generally or commonly in use. That which is current is in general circulation or a matter of common knowledge or acceptance: current usage in English. Present refers to that which is in use now; it always has the sense of time: present customs. That which is prevailing is that which has superseded others: prevailing fashion. That which is prevalent exists or is spread widely: a prevalent idea. 10. See stream. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for current

British Dictionary definitions for current



of the immediate present; in progresscurrent events
most recent; up-to-date
commonly known, practised, or accepted; widespreada current rumour
circulating and valid at presentcurrent coins


(esp of water or air) a steady usually natural flow
a mass of air, body of water, etc, that has a steady flow in a particular direction
the rate of flow of such a mass
Also called: electric current physics
  1. a flow of electric charge through a conductor
  2. the rate of flow of this charge. It is measured in amperesSymbol: I
a general trend or driftcurrents of opinion
Derived Formscurrently, adverbcurrentness, noun

Word Origin for current

C13: from Old French corant, literally: running, from corre to run, from Latin currere

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

Word Origin and History for current
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for current




A stream or flow of a liquid or gas.
A flow of electric charge.
The amount of electric charge flowing past a specified circuit point per unit time.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for current



A flowing movement in a liquid, gas, plasma, or other form of matter, especially one that follows a recognizable course.
A flow of positive electric charge. The strength of current flow in any medium is related to voltage differences in that medium, as well as the electrical properties of the medium, and is measured in amperes. Since electrons are stipulated to have a negative charge, current in an electrical circuit actually flows in the opposite direction of the movement of electrons. See also electromagnetism Ohm's law. See Note at electric charge.

A Closer Look

Electric current is the phenomenon most often experienced in the form of electricity. Any time an object with a net electric charge is in motion, such as an electron in a wire or a positively charged ion jetting into the atmosphere from a solar flare, there is an electric current; the total current moving through some cross-sectional area in a given direction is simply the amount of positive charge moving through that cross-section. Current is sometimes confused with electric potential or voltage, but a voltage difference between two points (such as the two terminals of a battery) means only that current can potentially flow between them; how much does in fact flow depends on the resistance of the material between the two points. Electrical signals transmitted through a wire generally propagate at nearly the speed of light, but the current in the wire actually moves very slowly: pushing electrons into one end of the wire is rather like pushing a marble into one end of a tube filled with marbles-a marble (or electron) gets pushed out the other end almost instantly, even though the marbles (or electrons) inside move only incrementally.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.