direct current

noun

: an electric current flowing in one direction only and substantially constant in value
abbreviation DC

Examples of direct current in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That, in turn, limits their efficiency in applications such as converting between alternating current and direct current. IEEE Spectrum, 16 Jan. 2024 That's the spec that the auto industry arrived at for electric vehicles to fast-charge using DC, which combines the five-pin J1772 plug (for AC charging) with two pins for direct current. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 20 June 2023 And in a place like Antarctica, the goal of his experiment—providing efficient heat from direct current electricity—was both important and difficult. IEEE Spectrum, 5 Dec. 2023 After delivering direct currents, the researchers tested the dolphins’ ability to perceive alternating current (AC) electric fields. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2023 As the pendulum swings back and forth with the animal’s movement, the ring creates an alternating current in the coil—and a voltage-doubling circuit transforms it into direct current. IEEE Spectrum, 1 Nov. 2023 There are high voltage wiring systems, on-board chargers that convert alternating current power to direct current to charge the batteries. Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN, 6 Oct. 2023 Electrons from far flung wind and solar farms, and new dams like the Three Gorges, are increasingly flowing across high-voltage direct current transmission with 3% or lower losses of energy per thousand kilometres. Michael Barnard, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 The Baltic states, all of which are members of the European Union and NATO, started freeing themselves from Russia’s electrical embrace almost a decade ago with the construction of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) connections to Finland, Sweden, and Poland. IEEE Spectrum, 11 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'direct current.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of direct current was in 1849

Dictionary Entries Near direct current

Cite this Entry

“Direct current.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/direct%20current. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

direct current

noun
: an electric current flowing in one direction only
abbreviation DC

Medical Definition

direct current

noun
: an electric current flowing in one direction only and substantially constant in value
abbreviation DC

More from Merriam-Webster on direct current

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