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rip current

undertow (def 1).
Origin of rip current
1935-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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rip-current in Science
rip current  

A strong, narrow surface current that flows rapidly away from the shore. Rip currents form when excess water that has accumulated along a shore due to wind and waves rushes back suddenly to deeper waters. Also called rip tide.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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