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[kur-uh nt, kuhr-] /ˈkɜr ənt, ˈkʌr-/
a small seedless raisin, produced chiefly in California and in the Levant, and used in cookery and confectionery.
the small, edible, acid, round fruit or berry of certain wild or cultivated shrubs of the genus Ribes.
the shrub itself.
any of various similar fruits or shrubs.
Origin of currant
1300-50; shortened from Middle English raysons of Coraunte raisins of Corinth, the port in Greece from which they orig. came
Can be confused
currant, current (see synonym study at current) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for currant
  • Maybe the holly supplants a western yew, or a red-flowering currant, or a vine maple.
  • On the centres of one-half the pieces put currant jelly.
  • Saddle of mutton is a typical company dish-all mutton has currant jelly.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the sherry vinegar and the sherry with the walnut oil, red currant jelly and sugar.
  • Pencil points to the location where the cane borer drilled a hole into the red currant stem.
British Dictionary definitions for currant


a small dried seedless grape of the Mediterranean region, used in cooking
any of several mainly N temperate shrubs of the genus Ribes, esp R. rubrum (redcurrant) and R. nigrum (blackcurrant): family Grossulariaceae See also gooseberry (sense 1)
the small acid fruit of any of these plants
Word Origin
C16: shortened from rayson of Corannte raisin of Corinth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for currant

c.1500, from raysyn of Curans (mid-14c.) "raisins of Corinth," with the -s- mistaken for a plural inflection. From Anglo-French reisin de Corauntz. The small, seedless raisins were exported from southern Greece. Then in 1570s the word was applied to an unrelated Northern European berry (genus Ribes), recently introduced in England, on its resemblance to the raisins.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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