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 What are your thoughts on the current state of live performances? Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Post Malone Set to Headline Virtual Concert on Pokémon Day: Exclusive," 11 Feb. 2021 The current state of emergency decree, a legal measure which allows authorities to enact limits on movements and gatherings, expires on midnight Sunday. Barry Hatton, Star Tribune, "Portugal poised to extend lockdown as COVID-19 cases fall," 9 Feb. 2021 The two sides in the case differed on the current situation in Los Angeles County. David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times, "Some California churches will reopen Sunday after Supreme Court lifts ban on indoor services," 6 Feb. 2021 Russia has dismissed the criticism as meddling in its domestic affairs and said Mr. Navalny’s current situation is a procedural matter for the court, not an issue for the government. The Christian Science Monitor, "Putin critic Navalny sentenced to more than 2 years in prison," 3 Feb. 2021 Now, Cohen has taken her talents for observation and channeled them into a debut book of poetry, the medium most fitting to our current reclusive situation. Catherine Cohen, Vulture, "‘I Miss the Simple Things’," 2 Feb. 2021 Telegram, the messaging app that has exploded in popularity as users have fled WhatsApp over privacy concerns and Parler over its current state of nonexistence. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Security News This Week: Update Your iPhone and iPad Now If You Haven't Recently," 30 Jan. 2021 Finley lost in a Democratic runoff to current state Rep. Adline Clark. al, "Sparks in Mobile’s mayor race after incumbent joins fray," 30 Jan. 2021 That raised the specter that the current generation of vaccines might be rendered obsolete before they have even been rolled out. Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, "Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine protects against British and South African variants," 25 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Steelheaders generally like jigs in the 1/32-ounce or 1/16-ounce category — best for when the river current is a bit slow — with maggots or an emerald shiner minnow for bait. cleveland, "Rivers low, slow and full of trout: Cleveland-area fishing report for the weekend of Jan. 22-24, 2021," 21 Jan. 2021 Reversing propulsion direction is as simple as reversing the current in the ducts. Abe Dane, Popular Mechanics, "Remembering Jet Ships: The Futuristic 100-Knot Superboat That Never Was," 14 Jan. 2021 Jay tried mightily to beat on, to fight the current, to rewrite his past but in the end could not overcome it. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Read an excerpt from John Grisham's new introduction to The Great Gatsby — and see the cover," 20 Nov. 2020 Today the world watches, wondering whether the latest current has finally broken its banks—the storm of this particular election and this particular president too much for the system to bear. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "America Is Testing the World’s Faith," 4 Nov. 2020 Instead, the current was flowing out, the other way. Matt Miller, Anchorage Daily News, "Mother of all jökulhlaups reported by commercial fisherman in Southeast Alaska," 30 Oct. 2020 Generating the current is not really a problem, but carrying it in a conductor is. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Smaller, more efficient tokamak could follow in ITER’s fusion footsteps," 27 Oct. 2020 The waves were invisible in the dark and the current was driving me south, away from the island. Lia Ditton,, "In a time of isolation, Lia Ditton spent 86 days alone at sea," 11 Oct. 2020 The steel balls that conduct the current should glide right over your skin. Sarah Wu, Glamour, "The Foreo Bear Microcurrent Device Makes It Looks Like I Got a Face-Lift," 6 Oct. 2020

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

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Current.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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
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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