direct current


Definition of direct current

: 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 The Lown device, called a cardioverter, used direct current and precise timing to avoid the danger points. New York Times, "Bernard Lown, Inventive Heart Doctor and Antiwar Activist, Dies at 99," 16 Feb. 2021 For example, a solar farm capable of generating 100 MW of direct current (DC) may be paired with an 80 MW inverter, an electric device connected to the grid that converts this energy to alternating current (AC) for utilities. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "It’s time to start wasting solar energy," 29 Dec. 2020 The 400-kilovolt, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power line is a rarity in the U.S. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, "Great River's power line gives it leverage in any potential sale," 5 Dec. 2020 The funding is to install up to 38 more direct current (DC) fast charging stations in public places along certain sections of highways outside the Twin Cities. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, "State offers $2.6 million to build out Minnesota network for charging electric vehicles," 2 Oct. 2020 This generates an electric field that escorts the waves through the circuit as a direct current, which may then power electrical devices. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "What If WiFi Could Charge Your Phone in the Future?," 2 Apr. 2020 The high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable, in its extra-long format, is in use in China and in Europe as part of those countries’ existing power grids. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Australia's Radical Idea to Send Sunshine to Asia Through a Giant Cable," 28 Feb. 2020 Improvements in transmission can be made, for example, by replacing inefficient wires, using superconductors that reduce resistance in wires, and thus lost energy, and controlling power flow and high-voltage direct current. The Conversation/sarah Marie Jordaan/kavita Surana, Ars Technica, "We calculated emissions due to electricity loss on the power grid," 26 Dec. 2019 The electricity that comes out of a wall outlet is an alternating current (AC) and needs to be converted to direct current (DC) to operate your devices. David Kender, USA TODAY, "Myth vs. fact: Unplugging devices when you leave the house," 27 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'direct 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 direct current

1849, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for direct current

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The first known use of direct current was in 1849

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Statistics for direct current

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Direct current.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for direct current

direct current


English Language Learners Definition of direct current

: an electric current that is flowing in one direction only

direct current


Kids Definition of direct current

: an electric current flowing in one direction only

direct current


Medical Definition of direct current

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

More from Merriam-Webster on direct current

Nglish: Translation of direct current for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about direct current

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