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direct current

Electricity. an electric current of constant direction, having a magnitude that does not vary or varies only slightly.
Abbreviation: dc.
Origin of direct current
Related forms
direct-current, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for direct current
  • Normally a computer's power supply converts alternating current to clean direct current.
  • And factor in the effect of high voltage direct current transmission.
  • So the future is locally produced direct current solar energy.
  • The usual way to do this would be to use a rectifier-a device that converts alternating to direct current.
  • The disadvantage is that reverse electrodialysis produces direct current, whereas the world runs mostly on alternating current.
  • Watch a video on the development of the direct current.
  • Alternating current can actually be more dangerous than direct current.
  • The grids were not built to handle this sort of direct current electricity.
  • The module on the left converts high-voltage alternating current from the grid to direct current.
British Dictionary definitions for direct current

direct current

a continuous electric current that flows in one direction only, without substantial variation in magnitude DC Compare alternating current
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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direct current in Science
direct current
An electric current that moves in one direction with constant strength. Batteries are a source of direct current. Direct current is not used for long-distance power transmission because it is difficult to step up the voltage to a level that is efficient for energy transfer and then to step the voltage back down again for safe domestic use. Compare alternating current. See Notes at current, Tesla.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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direct current in Culture
direct current (DC)

The electric current in which the electrons flow in one direction only. (Compare alternating current (AC).)

Note: DC is usually supplied by batteries.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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