cross·​cur·​rent | \ ˈkrȯs-ˌkər-ənt How to pronounce crosscurrent (audio) , -ˌkə-rənt\

Definition of crosscurrent

1 : a current running counter to the general forward direction
2 : a conflicting tendency usually used in plural political crosscurrents

Examples of crosscurrent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Regulatory crosscurrents are shown by antitrust resistance from the U.S. Justice Department to Sprint Corp.’s plan to merge with T-Mobile US Inc., as well as opposition from some state attorneys general. Ben Dummett And Cara Lombardo, WSJ, "U.S. Deals Lead the Way as Rest of the World Lags Behind," 30 June 2019 During the course of his 36-year Senate career, school desegregation, more than any other issue with the possible exception of crime, crystallized the political and civil rights crosscurrents swirling around Mr. Biden. New York Times, "How Joe Biden Became the Democrats’ Anti-Busing Crusader," 15 July 2019 Within it there may be a multitude of crosscurrents, with some parts moving in one direction at one speed and other areas moving in other directions at other speeds. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Find Wrinkle in Famed Fluid Equations," 21 Dec. 2017 These crosscurrents interact with one another in a continually evolving interplay of friction and water pressure that determines how the fluid flows. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Find Wrinkle in Famed Fluid Equations," 21 Dec. 2017 The impact of Thursday’s pivotal hearing could depend in no small part on Ms. Katz’s skill in navigating these crosscurrents. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "Lawyer for Kavanaugh’s Accuser Faces Tough Scrutiny," 23 Sep. 2018 In other words, this is not only a claustrophobic space typical of the artist, but its very density and crosscurrents convey a sense of trickery, borne out by other key details. John Wilmerding, WSJ, "A Winning Group of Cheaters," 28 Sep. 2018 Still, the tepid close-to-close move obscures the crosscurrents facing money managers who are trying to gauge the pace of U.S. economic growth relative to the rest of the world. ... Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "U.S. Government Bond Yields Steady," 6 Feb. 2019 The recreational boat industry, which faces retaliatory tariffs ranging from about 10% to 25% on exports to a range of countries, is one example of a sector caught in the crosscurrents. Harriet Torry, WSJ, "U.S. Economy Grew at 3.5% Rate in Third Quarter," 26 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crosscurrent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crosscurrent

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

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The first known use of crosscurrent was in 1598

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English Language Learners Definition of crosscurrent

: a current of water that flows against or across the main current

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Comments on crosscurrent

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concealment of treason or felony

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