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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
Historical Examples
  • By these contactors the usual series-multiple control of direct-current motors is effected.

  • It will be necessary to obtain the use of a direct-current ammeter for this purpose.

  • Then there was a telephone transmitter which made variations in a direct-current flowing through the primary of a transformer.

  • The engine is belted to a direct-current generator of the shunt-wound type.

    Farm Mechanics Herbert A. Shearer
  • The alternating-current arc is much noisier than the direct-current arc, but with very high frequencies this noise ceases.

  • The alternating-current arc-lamp was developed after the appearance of the direct-current open-arc and has been widely used.

    Artificial Light M. Luckiesh
  • The direction of rotation of a direct-current motor can be reversed by reversing either the field or the armature current.

  • This humming sound is quite different from the occasional hissing of a direct-current arc.

    Artificial Light M. Luckiesh
  • Within this angle is included a large portion of the light emitted by the light-source in the case of direct-current arcs.

    Artificial Light M. Luckiesh
  • It was more efficient than the preceding lamps but was handicapped by being solely a direct-current device.

    Artificial Light M. Luckiesh
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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