cur·rent | \ ˈkər-ənt , ˈkə-rənt \

Definition of current 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a archaic : running, flowing

b(1) : presently elapsing the current year

(2) : occurring in or existing at the present time the current crisis current supplies current needs

(3) : most recent the magazine's current issue the current survey

2 : used as a medium of exchange

3 : generally accepted, used, practiced, or prevalent at the moment current fashions current ideas about education



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


currently adverb
currentness noun

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


The dictionary's current edition has 10,000 new words. Who is your current employer? We need to keep current with the latest information.


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

Unlike so many other recent blockbusters intent on tapping into the current political climate for inspo, Fallout remains true to its roots., "Mission Impossible: Fallout Is As Wild & Fun As Henry Cavill's Mustache," 12 July 2018 Thanks to the current political climate, a lot of differences have sprung up between my dad and me. Lauren Delgado,, "Celebrate National Pecan Pie Day with a modern take on this classic," 12 July 2018 The current political climate, with its divisive rhetoric and harmful policies, does not represent my values or the values of most Charlotteans. Jim Morrill And Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "After flurry of criticism, Charlotte council will vote on deals for RNC convention," 11 July 2018 The department grasps the role of policing in the current political and social climate, doing its best to bolster relationships, particularly in the black, immigrant and marginalized communities that have been historically oppressed, Moore said. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "‘He’s just a doer’: Meet Seattle police-chief candidate Ely Reyes," 9 July 2018 Just how long that silver lining lasts, given the current climate between Washington and Beijing, is uncertain. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "China producing x86 chips nearly identical to AMD server processors," 9 July 2018 There are only so many firefighters, engines, planes and helicopters to go around, and federal agencies must allocate them based on current and emerging threats to life and property. Jordan Golson, WIRED, "The Sooty, Swirling Logistics of Fighting 2018's First Major Wildfire," 5 July 2018 And earlier this year, more than a dozen current and former employees laid out for the Chronicle a series of allegations of harassment, retaliation and gender discrimination in what some described as a long-standing issue dating back years. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Sergeant sues Texas prison system over claims of sexual harassment, retaliation," 5 July 2018 The store’s current location, 950 S Federal Highway in Deerfield Beach is open daily from 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Costume World’s new location will be 2313 NW 30 Place in Pompano, by appointment only. Emily Bloch,, "Costume World liquidating and moving," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The No Swim ZonesSydney’s north shores are notorious for rips, strong currents, and the odd great white shark. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Sydney: The Black Book," 5 July 2018 After paying off the tax debts of Penny, the previous owner, and then staying current, Bell fell behind by about 2008. Craig R. Mccoy,, "A Philadelphia story: Falsely declared dead, home stolen and no one will help," 29 June 2018 Visits to the riverfront of old Kansas City are rare, admittedly, but should one find oneself within a stone’s throw of the muddy current, please, at least, please reflect on Bob Potee. Darryl Levings, kansascity, "Bob Potee was KC's courtly 19th century gambling king | The Kansas City Star," 26 Jan. 2018 Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly over 100 feet away. Gary Robbins,, "Lightning can cause wildfires — and death — in a flash," 8 July 2018 Tangy, filling and thirst-quenching, kombucha is the current must-have at any hip Los Angeles celebration. Kavita Daswani,, "Fourth of July BBQ draaaanks that won't blow your diet," 29 June 2018 The whirlpools are created by intersecting oceanic currents that are slightly warmer than the surrounding waters, allowing heat to penetrate more deeply than usual into the twilight zone. Brian J. Skerry, National Geographic, "Why Great White Sharks Hang Out in Warm Whirlpools," 19 June 2018 Foreigner Tuesday, July 17, at Starlight Theatre A reunion concert featuring current and former members of Foreigner is slated for next month’s Sturgis Buffalo Chip Festival in South Dakota. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "KC concerts July 12-18: Kenny Chesney, Imagine Dragons, Jason Isbell, Foreigner," 10 July 2018 This small member of the catfish family can be found in small to large rivers with moderate to strong currents and substrates of sand, gravel or rock. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "Polishing a gem: Plan aims for St. Clair-Detroit River system improvements," 10 July 2018

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 1a


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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Phrases Related to current

current account

current events

Statistics for current

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for current

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

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More Definitions for current



English Language Learners Definition of current

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: happening or existing now : belonging to or existing in the present time

: 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

: an idea, feeling, opinion, etc., that is shared by many or most of the people in a group


cur·rent | \ ˈkər-ənt \

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 \

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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