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 Most of the trout caught this week were hooked in the lower parts of the rivers, where the current has been slow and the water temperatures are still in the low 40s. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, "Winds kick walleye fishermen off Lake Erie, but steelhead are in the harbors: Fishing Report for Nov. 29," 29 Nov. 2019 In the clear water below, tiny fish swam against the current. Ian James, azcentral, "Ancient aqueducts in Oman imperiled by modern wells and climate change," 28 Nov. 2019 The more current your resume looks, the more likely an employer is to look past your age and evaluate you on your merits alone. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, "Facing racial discrimination in the workplace? Ask HR," 27 Nov. 2019 The current, 5th-generation Apple Watch is pricier at $399 and up. Julio Ojeda-zapata, Twin Cities, "Achieving marital harmony and physical fitness with Apple wearable gear," 26 Nov. 2019 Under current President Rodrigo Duterte, however, Manila has pulled back on the issue and sought to cultivate closer ties with Beijing. James Griffiths, CNN, "China can shut off the Philippines' power grid at any time, leaked report warns," 25 Nov. 2019 That requires a suitable material, niobium, to carry the current, and a suitable temperature, that of liquid helium, to make the niobium superconducting. The Economist, "New ways to make molybdenum-99," 23 Nov. 2019 Join the Enquirer high school sports Facebook group, Enquirer Preps Plus, to keep current on the high school sports scene during the summer. James Weber,, "Enquirer names Greater Cincinnati fall high school athletes of the week, Nov. 22," 22 Nov. 2019 The company says silicon deposits on the contact points of fuel pump relays can cut off the electrical current and cause engines to stall or fail to start., "Massport promotes Meyran to head maritime operations," 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Nineteen main islands sitting at the confluence of three ocean currents. David Jefferys, Condé Nast Traveler, "Exploring the Galapagos Islands on the First Ship Designed for the Region," 19 Nov. 2019 And though some seasonal variation is natural with the jet stream, there are some indications that climate change is affecting the waviness of these air currents, and their speed. NBC News, "That Arctic blast hitting the U.S.? There's a wavy jet stream to blame.," 12 Nov. 2019 The departure of Pearson, 57, arrives at a time of conflicting currents for what is widely known as the education reform movement. Perry Stein, Washington Post, "Scott Pearson, longtime leader of D.C.’s charter sector, plans to step down in May," 12 Nov. 2019 If the lines were the result of random currents, there would probably be a wider variety of ages, and some of the trilobites would likely be facing backward. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "480-million-year-old trilobite ‘traffic jams’ may reveal ancient migratory behavior," 17 Oct. 2019 In the last two years, our understanding of how ocean currents dictate the reef’s ability to survive has improved. Jessica Wynne Lockhart, Smithsonian, "Massive Citizen Science Effort Seeks to Survey the Entire Great Barrier Reef," 17 Oct. 2019 Mass shootings have made this kind of revisiting a way of not only celebrating those lost and checking in on the mourning, but also demanding a deeper examination of darker currents coursing through society. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Grieving and forgiveness are focus of Charleston mass shooting documentary ‘Emanuel’," 16 Oct. 2019 Though not imitations of Golden Age hits, Tesori’s songs are loving tributes that swim in and out of currents of familiarity. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: In the Musical ‘Soft Power,’ China Whistles the Tune," 15 Oct. 2019 Like weather on land, the pattern of ocean currents varies with the seasons and can be predicted. James Rising, The Conversation, "Fish larvae float across national borders, binding the world’s oceans in a single network," 18 Sep. 2019

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

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Current.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for current


How to pronounce current (audio)

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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