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 In New York, the current epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, state Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday ordered a Utah company to halt the marketing of a product offered as an effective treatment for COVID-19. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Fraud follows coronavirus spread; fake vaccines, testing, investment scams are exacting a toll," 4 Apr. 2020 But the current resonance of The Platform’s brutalist portrait of real-life inequality is not hard to understand right now, during an unprecedented global pandemic. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Netflix’s Demented Cannibal-Prison Movie Is Actually Timely," 4 Apr. 2020 The request would maintain the agency’s current programs and gird it through the upcoming fire season. oregonlive, "Coronavirus undercuts Oregon’s wood products industry, Forestry Department budget," 4 Apr. 2020 If current patterns hold, several communities are on track to have epidemics as serious as New York’s. Josh Katz, New York Times, "Coronavirus in the U.S.: How Fast It’s Growing," 4 Apr. 2020 The mother paid $16,000 for her home in 1976, and the current market value is close to $200,000. Liz Weston, Dallas News, "Liz Weston: Don’t give your house to your adult kids," 4 Apr. 2020 Instead, current White House estimates range from 100,000 to 200,00 dead. Ramsey Archibald |, al, "Alabama projected to have highest death rate, fourth most coronavirus deaths in nation," 4 Apr. 2020 As others catch up, Mr Söder finds new hobby-horses: his current obsession is ramping up the production of face-masks. The Economist, "Bavaria’s action man Markus Söder makes his mark," 4 Apr. 2020 Pricing will stay close to the current model, which starts at $108,345, with a $4400 premium for the station wagon. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "Mercedes-AMG E63 Update Coming Soon, Wagon Continues for the U.S.," 3 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The forecast on Jupiter is always stormy, which means its clouds are always moving, shifting into new currents and eddies. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "You’ve Never Seen Jupiter Like This Before," 14 May 2020 That is changing, as several current or former nurses are winning acclaim for their memoirs, fiction and poetry RAISED IN THE city of Lipa, south of Manila, Romalyn Ante—like her mother before her—became a nurse in Britain’s National Health Service. The Economist, "Bedside writers Compared with doctors, literary nurses have been a rare breed," 12 May 2020 Cast across-and-down current and bring lures and flies through such areas. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, "The Beginner’s Guide to Catching Your First Fish," 11 May 2020 Some senior officials at the CDC and the White House National Security Council told Kadlec the move would be a mistake, one current and one former official said. Anchorage Daily News, "Before the pandemic, Trump’s stockpile chief put the focus on biodefense. An old client benefited.," 5 May 2020 Both varieties make their way into ocean currents and eventually into microplastic hot spots. Matt Simon, Wired, "'Microplastic Hot Spots' Are Tainting Deep-Sea Ecosystems," 30 Apr. 2020 One globe bears unusual markings that indicate sea currents and trade winds crisscrossing major oceans. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Explore the World Virtually With These Rare, Centuries-Old Globes," 6 Apr. 2020 But there are ominous moments hinting that the Levins will be swept into the dark currents and undercurrents in an America still not fully recovered from the Depression. Mark Dawidziak, cleveland, "‘The Plot Against America’ is as riveting as it is disturbing," 15 Mar. 2020 Officials called on residents to pay attention to evacuation orders, check on road closures before traveling and stay out of flood waters — warning that seemingly placid waters could mask quickly moving currents and pollution. CBS News, "Mississippi on the brink of near-record flooding as Pearl River swells with days of rain," 16 Feb. 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

7 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Current.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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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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