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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In Brazil, polls ahead of October’s presidential election show the standard-bearer for the left, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has a comfortable lead over the current president, Jair Bolsonaro. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, 24 May 2022 The 2022 midterm elections will be a referendum on the current President, Joe Biden, and his predecessor, Donald J. Trump—as well as a profound test of American democracy. The New Yorker, 24 May 2022 Political observers also are talking about the possibility that former General Treasurer Frank T. Caprio or current Providence City Council President John J. Igliozzi could enter the treasurer’s race. Globe Staff,, 24 May 2022 Events are current as of press time; please check websites for updated information and COVID-19 restrictions. Annie Alleman, Chicago Tribune, 23 May 2022 In recent years, the Grammy Award-winning rapper rose to prominence as a musician and reality television star but has since evolved into an activist in a sense, having interviews with Senator Bernie Sanders and current President Joe Biden. Okla Jones, Essence, 23 May 2022 Michigan law requires candidates be current on all campaign finance statements, fines and other filings when filing to run for office. Dana Afana, Detroit Free Press, 20 May 2022 Hands will succeed current President Pam Luster, who is retiring at the end of June. San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 May 2022 Burnette, the current tribal president, said the tribe had a small clubhouse where kids could watch a black and white television and buy candy for a nickel. USA Today, 20 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So running a small current through a mesh of gallium wires allows researchers to measure how the material is being twisted, stretched and pressed on. Kurt Kleiner, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 May 2022 The nine-mile stretch of river has no current and gives you a water view of local colleges, the Esplanade, and the Boston skyline. Globe Staff,, 6 May 2022 Sixty, according to the current cant, is the new 40. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, 6 May 2022 The clock attached to the tripod kept ticking and the suspense was growing until the current from the tributary Chena River finally pushed the ice around the tripod at 6:47 p.m. Alaska Standard Time May 2. Alena Naiden, Anchorage Daily News, 3 May 2022 Those who enjoy listening to Biss speak through the keys will discover the same narrative current running through his writing. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 The strength of the river’s current forced the Search and Rescue Teams to cease dive operations late Friday, but the search resumed on Saturday. Bill Melugin, Fox News, 23 Apr. 2022 When operators start the current, a large magnetic field is generated. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 22 Apr. 2022 The essential idea is that the current that flows through a memristor doesn’t just depend on the voltage that is applied across the terminals but also on the history of applied voltage. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near current

currency unit


current account

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Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Current.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for current


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

More from Merriam-Webster on current

Nglish: Translation of current for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of current for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about current


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