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

Synonyms & Antonyms for current

Synonyms: Adjective

conventional, customary, going, popular, prevailing, prevalent, standard, stock, usual

Synonyms: Noun

direction, drift, leaning, run, tendency, tide, trend, wind

Antonyms: Adjective

nonstandard, unconventional, unpopular, unusual

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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


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

Volvo will ditch its current uplevel supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the near future, the Volvo Car Group's R&D chief, Henrik Green, told Car and Driver at the Vienna Motor Symposium on Thursday. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "Volvo to Start Using Electrically Driven Superchargers," 17 May 2019 Retail is dead; long live retail! Parsing the headlines on the current state of shopping is a confusing game. Emily Farra, Vogue, "How Aimé Leon Dore Became the Coolest Store in Nolita," 14 May 2019 When Dany and Jon speak in this latest episode, her usually meticulous braids are messy and unkempt—perhaps to signify her current mental state? Abby Gardner, Glamour, "All the Signs Daenerys Targaryen Was Going to Become the Mad Queen on Game of Thrones," 13 May 2019 The night is also going to feature all sorts of amazing performances, including one from 2009 runner up and current Queen frontman Adam Lambert. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'American Idol' Fans "SCREAMED" Over Luke Bryan’s Joke About Laine Hardy," 13 May 2019 The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and Virgin Voyages both aim to disrupt the current state of cruising. Christian L. Wright, WSJ, "These Cruise Lines Want to Seduce People Who Hate Cruises," 7 May 2019 However, unexpectedly, current students who watched the entire second season reported declines in suicide ideation and self-harm relative to those who did not watch the show at all. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, ""13 Reasons Why" Series Premiere Reportedly Linked to Higher Suicide Rates," 30 Apr. 2019 The crew doesn't plan to touch the wreckage if found, only to take photos and document its current state. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Antarctic Expedition Hopeful of Finding Ernest Shackleton's Long-Lost Research Vessel," 4 Feb. 2019 Trip Chowdhry, a senior analyst at Global Equities Research, LLC, likes to compare how Tesla has spent about as much ($5 billion) getting the Gigafactory to its current state as General Motors has spent on advertising over the same period. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla will live and die by the Gigafactory," 30 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Indonesian authorities launched an investigation into the cause of Monday’s crash and teams of divers battled strong currents to find the flight data and cockpit voice recorders and remains of the people on board. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Lion Air Crash Is the Latest Setback for Indonesia’s Troubled Aviation Industry," 29 Oct. 2018 The swell also will generate strong rip and side currents, creating hazardous conditions for swimmers and surfers. Gary Robbins,, "Big surf through Tuesday, followed by monsoonal moisture, humidity," 11 June 2018 After the fight Waubin sat down in the ocean north-east of Kiriri, turned to stone (known now as the small island of Hammond Rock) and today protects the cluster sending strong currents around Muralag. Aaron Smith, CNN, "The 'forgotten people': When death came to the Torres Strait," 25 May 2018 The vehicle — which was completely submerged when emergency responders arrived — and the river’s strong currents led to police to call in helicopters to help with the search, CNN reported at the time. Stephanie Petit,, "Bodies of Missing Family Recovered After Car Plunged into River Near Other California Crash Site," 18 Apr. 2018 The red flags in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach indicate high surf and strong currents. Leada Gore,, "Beach conditions: Red flags fly in Gulf Shores due to potentially dangerous surf," 26 Mar. 2018 But on Canada’s west coast, deep water, dynamic tides and strong currents routinely flush the Juan de Fuca Strait, where the city of Victoria, British Columbia, has been pumping raw sewage through only a coarse screen since the 1960s. Amorina Kingdon, Smithsonian, "How Drugged-Up Shellfish Help Scientists Understand Human Pollution," 16 Jan. 2018 According to the Huffington Post, a Muslim teacher wanted his students to attend class more easily, but strong currents would frequently break the old bamboo bridge. Caroline Picard, House Beautiful, "These Living Bridges Are Seriously Breathtaking," 29 Jan. 2016 Forty-thousand volts of electricity under the plane's wing are created by positively and negatively charged electrodes, fostering an an electric current of nitrogen ions. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "This Completely Silent Airplane Achieves Flight With No Moving Parts," 26 Nov. 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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Statistics for current

Last Updated

20 May 2019

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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
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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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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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