cur·​rent | \ ˈkər-ənt How to pronounce current (audio) , ˈkə-rənt \

Definition of current

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : occurring in or existing at the present time the current crisis current supplies current needs
(2) : presently elapsing the current year
(3) : most recent the magazine's current issue the current survey
b archaic : running, flowing
2 : generally accepted, used, practiced, or prevalent at the moment current fashions current ideas about education
3 : used as a medium of exchange



Definition of current (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the part of a fluid body (such as air or water) moving continuously in a certain direction
b : the swiftest part of a stream
c : a tidal or nontidal movement of lake or ocean water
d : flow marked by force or strength
2a : a tendency or course of events that is usually the result of an interplay of forces currents of public opinion
b : a prevailing mood : strain
3 : a flow of electric charge also : the rate of such flow

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Other Words from current


currentness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for current

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for current


tendency, trend, drift, tenor, current mean movement in a particular direction. tendency implies an inclination sometimes amounting to an impelling force. a general tendency toward inflation trend applies to the general direction maintained by a winding or irregular course. the long-term trend of the stock market is upward drift may apply to a tendency determined by external forces the drift of the population away from large cities or it may apply to an underlying or obscure trend of meaning or discourse. got the drift of her argument tenor stresses a clearly perceptible direction and a continuous, undeviating course. the tenor of the times current implies a clearly defined but not necessarily unalterable course. an encounter that changed the current of my life

Examples of current in a Sentence

Adjective The dictionary's current edition has 10,000 new words. Who is your current employer? We need to keep current with the latest information. Noun Strong currents pulled the swimmer out to sea. Air currents carried the balloon for miles. The circuit supplies current to the saw.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Institutions in China, the U.S., Europe and Australia are all working on a vaccine for the current outbreak of coronavirus disease that the World Health Organization has christened COVID-19. Kelly Cannon, ABC News, "Health experts warn life-saving coronavirus vaccine still years away," 22 Feb. 2020 Officials have said the current outbreak , COVID-19, likely began at an animal and seafood market in Wuhan. Fox News, "How to protect yourself from coronavirus," 21 Feb. 2020 China has been pushing a narrative of transparency and tight control over the current outbreak, while emphasizing the sacrifices made by its health workers and ordinary citizens. Yanan Wang,, "China’s virus center vows no patient unchecked as cases fall," 19 Feb. 2020 Some of the talk about the current state of the FC Cincinnati locker room is that the group could be susceptible to dividing or splintering. Pat Brennan,, "FC Cincinnati: Players, interim head coach Yoann Damet react to Ron Jans departure," 19 Feb. 2020 Her remarks came at the conclusion of a two-day summit convened by the WHO that brought together major funders and more than 300 scientists to define the most pressing research priorities of the current outbreak. Megan Molteni, Wired, "China Launches a Crush of Clinical Trials Aimed at Covid-19," 13 Feb. 2020 In Hong Kong, which suffered 299 deaths due to SARS in 2003, paranoia over public hygiene remained high even before the current coronavirus outbreak. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Business’s coronavirus conundrum: What’s the best alternative to a handshake?," 13 Feb. 2020 The 5-foot-9, 180-pound playmaker, out of Centennial High School (Corona, California), has moved between his current state and New York a few times over the past year and was ruled ineligible to play in the state of New York last fall. oregonlive, "Keith Brown, Seven McGee highlight Oregon Ducks in Rivals’ updated 2021 rankings," 13 Feb. 2020 But the current system too often throws them in front of a board of strangers without a stitch of preparation or guidance. Glenn Freezman, Time, "Parole Hearings Are a Cruel Way to Decide a Prisoner's Fate. Here's How to Make the Process Fairer," 13 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That, combined with the ice front’s current, seemingly unstable configuration, suggests that there will be more disintegration soon. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 11 Feb. 2020 Photography was his air current, a creative updraft. Mark Rozzo, The New Yorker, "Dennis Hopper’s Quiet Vision of Nineteen-Sixties Hollywood," 22 Dec. 2019 The class could have included as many as 80 current and former female professors in the College of Science, according to the lawsuit. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "UA settles gender discrimination lawsuit from professor for $100K," 18 Dec. 2019 But liberalism has many currents, and in response to imperial abuses and demands for social reform, in the early twentieth century The Economist entered a new period. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, "The World The Economist Made," 17 Dec. 2019 At the same time, this helps keep the government current with technology and helps Congress understand the latest technology. Catherine Matacic, Science | AAAS, "This U.S. lawmaker wants greater scrutiny of algorithms used in criminal trials," 23 Sep. 2019 The steering currents by this weekend, and into early next week, are not overly pronounced. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Dorian is shaping up to be a major threat to the Southeastern United States," 28 Aug. 2019 JC Gutierrez as Nick and Bianca Garcia as Gwen are two on-deadline lexicographers who work to keep the online Merriam-Webster dictionary current. Christine Dolen,, "Review: ‘She Shorts’ puts women in the spotlight," 15 July 2019 Still a very good team that should be a contender next spring in the playoffs. Unrestricted free agents Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton are getting older, but GM Doug Wilson does a good job of keeping his competitiveness current at all times. Kevin Allen, USA TODAY, "Which team will be the NHL's next first-time champion? Here are the odds," 13 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'current.' 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 current


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for current


Latininization of Middle English corrant, curraunt, borrowed from Anglo-French curant, corant, present participle of coure, courir "to run, flow," going back to Latin currere "to run, roll, move swiftly, flow," going back to Indo-European *kr̥s-e- "run," whence also Greek epíkouros "helping, helper" (from *epíkorsos "running toward," with o-grade ablaut), Old Irish carr "cart, wagon," Welsh car "vehicle" (from Celtic *kr̥s-o-), and perhaps Germanic *hursa- horse entry 1

Note: The Indo-European base has generally been taken as a primary verb, though Latin is the only language in which it is so attested.


Latinization of Middle English curraunt, borrowed from Middle French courant, going back to Old French, noun derivative from corant, curant, present participle of coure, courir "to run, flow" — more at current entry 1

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Time Traveler for current

Time Traveler

The first known use of current was in the 14th century

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Statistics for current

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Current.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for current


How to pronounce current (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of current

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: happening or existing now : belonging to or existing in the present time
chiefly US : aware of what is happening in a particular area of activity



English Language Learners Definition of current (Entry 2 of 2)

: a continuous movement of water or air in the same direction
: a flow of electricity
formal : an idea, feeling, opinion, etc., that is shared by many or most of the people in a group


cur·​rent | \ ˈkər-ənt How to pronounce current (audio) \

Kids Definition of current

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : now passing the current month
2 : occurring in or belonging to the present time current events
3 : generally and widely accepted, used, or practiced current customs



Kids Definition of current (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a body of fluid (as air or water) moving in a specified direction
2 : the swiftest part of a stream
3 : the general course : trend
4 : a flow of electricity


cur·​rent | \ ˈkər-ənt, ˈkə-rənt How to pronounce current (audio) \

Medical Definition of current

1 : the part of a fluid body (as air or water) moving continuously in a certain direction
2 : a flow of electric charge also : the rate of such flow

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