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

The club have received no offers for Kouyate as yet, but have set there asking price at a respectable £10m - especially considering the current state of the transfer market., "West Ham Willing to Listen to Offers for Midfielder Michail Antonio After Season of Injury Troubles," 10 July 2018 People’s reaction to learning that USC’s current faculty includes four Nobel laureates and four recent winners of the MacArthur genius grant is decidedly different. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "Can USC Survive Scandal and Shed Its Spoiled-Kid Reputation Once and For All?," 10 July 2018 The current system gives the U.S. no leverage and other countries no incentive. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Trump’s Big Trade War Bluff," 5 July 2018 South Pasadena's chief promised he was dedicated to his current job despite being a finalist in Peoria. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Peoria's search for new police chief down to four finalists," 14 July 2018 There have been reports linking them to Arsenal target Adrien Rabiot who has 12 months left on his current contract, as Massimiliano Allegri looks to improve his team., "Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus Transfer Could Ruin Arsenal & Chelsea's Plans to Sign WC Breakout Star," 13 July 2018 Both sides agree the crux of the issue is the mandatory staffing that exists in the current contract Valenzuela said on Friday that many of his workers commute from the Los Angeles area, and do so because they are guaranteed work. Tod Leonard,, "Pari-Mutuel workers vote to strike in buildup to Del Mar opener," 13 July 2018 Moscow recently agreed to hold trilateral talks next week with Brussels and Kiev to discuss gas transit via Ukraine to the EU after Gazprom’s current contract expires at the end of 2019. Emre Peker, WSJ, "Trump Slams Germany Over Gas Imports From Russia," 11 July 2018 Wheeler’s online calendar, by contrast, was current through Tuesday. Washington Post,, "New EPA chief tells employees, ‘When it comes to leadership, you can’t lead unless you listen’," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The brownish-green seaweed, called sargassum, originates in the mid-Atlantic Sargasso Sea and drifts with ocean currents. Jacob Sweet, miamiherald, "Lots of sun, and brown slimy seaweed, in the forecast for South Florida beaches," 3 July 2018 Complaints tend to peak from March through August, and outbreaks appear to be caused by shifts in ocean currents. Amanda Macmillan,, "What Are Sea Lice, and How Do You Avoid Their Red, Itchy Rash?," 27 June 2018 But satellite imagery and data on ocean currents told a different story. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Mysterious masses of seaweed assault Caribbean islands," 11 June 2018 The warm water melting the glaciers generally comes from naturally occurring warm ocean currents. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Antarctic Glaciers Are Helping Drive Their Own Melt," 20 Apr. 2018 But the current dragged her over the falls in the process. Dave Quinn,, "Teen Dies Saving Sister from Plunging Over N.C. Waterfall Where Man Died Just 2 Weeks Before," 6 July 2018 By Olsen with industry figures who navigate their way through the creative and commercial cross-currents. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Elise By Olsen's New Magazine Wallet Is A Different Kind of Handheld Revolution," 6 June 2018 Maybe spot an otter slithering up the lazy current. Chris Colin, Outside Online, "Drawing a Line in the Sand Over River Rights," 30 May 2018 Meanwhile, Petty the bass player is the quiet, calm, and wise current keeping the foursome afloat, with piercing blue-gray eyes and unapologetically feminine style that leans toward dresses and jumpsuits., "The Aces Are The Next Big Thing — But They're Not Like HAIM or A "Gay Band"," 25 May 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

21 Oct 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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Comments on current

What made you want to look up current? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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