|1.||of the immediate present; in progress: current events|
|2.||most recent; up-to-date|
|3.||commonly known, practised, or accepted; widespread: a current rumour|
|4.||circulating and valid at present: current coins|
|5.||(esp of water or air) a steady usually natural flow|
|6.||a mass of air, body of water, etc, that has a steady flow in a particular direction|
|7.||the rate of flow of such a mass|
|8.||physics Also called: electric current|
|a. a flow of electric charge through a conductor|
|b. I the rate of flow of this charge. It is measured in amperes|
|9.||a general trend or drift: currents of opinion|
|[C13: from Old French corant, literally: running, from corre to run, from Latin currere]|
current cur·rent (kûr'ənt, kŭr'-)
A stream or flow of a liquid or gas.
Symbol I A flow of electric charge.
Symbol I, i The amount of electric charge flowing past a specified circuit point per unit time.
current [%PREMIUM_LINK%] (kûr'ənt) Pronunciation Key |
Our Living Language : Electric current is the phenomenon most often experienced in the form of electricity. Any time an object with a net electric charge is in motion, such as an electron in a wire or a positively charged ion jetting into the atmosphere from a solar flare, there is an electric current; the total current moving through some cross-sectional area in a given direction is simply the amount of positive charge moving through that cross-section. Current is sometimes confused with electric potential or voltage, but a voltage difference between two points (such as the two terminals of a battery) means only that current can potentially flow between them; how much does in fact flow depends on the resistance of the material between the two points. Electrical signals transmitted through a wire generally propagate at nearly the speed of light, but the current in the wire actually moves very slowly: pushing electrons into one end of the wire is rather like pushing a marble into one end of a tube filled with marbles—a marble (or electron) gets pushed out the other end almost instantly, even though the marbles (or electrons) inside move only incrementally.