I. cur ‧ rent 1 S2 W2 /ˈkʌrənt $ ˈkɜːr-/ BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]
[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: curant , present participle of courre 'to run' , from Latin currere ]
happening or existing now SYN present :
the current President
In its current state, the car is worth £1,000.
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▪ present [only before noun] happening or existing now:
The present situation could get much worse.
the present century
There are no plans to build more houses here at the present time.
▪ current [only before noun] present – used especially about something that is not expected to stay the same for long:
current trends in fashion
the current state of the UK economy
▪ existing [only before noun] formal existing or being used now – used about things or situations that you think may be changed in the future:
The existing offices are too small.
The proposal will strengthen existing immigration laws.
▪ contemporary [only before noun] used about the art, writing, ideas, society etc that belong to the present time:
the impact of computer-generated imagery on contemporary art and design
contemporary music in Russia
▪ today’s/of today used about conditions and attitudes that exist now, when you are comparing them with those that existed in the past:
People struggle to keep up with the pace of life in today’s world of instant communications.
the liberal ideology of today
II. current 2 W3 BrE AmE noun [countable]
1 . a continuous movement of water in a river, lake, or sea ⇨ tide
ocean/sea/tidal etc current
Strong currents can be very dangerous for swimmers.
2 . a continuous movement of air:
Some birds use warm air currents to help them fly.
currents of warm air rising from the plain
3 . a flow of electricity through a wire:
an electrical current
⇨ ↑ alternating current , ↑ direct current
4 . an idea, feeling, or opinion that a particular group of people has:
The committee reflects the different political currents within the organization.
There was an underlying current of discontent among teachers.
HINT : ► Do not confuse with currant (=a dried grape or a type of berry).
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■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + current
▪ an ocean/sea/river current
Ocean currents carry young fish out to sea.
▪ a tidal current (=caused by the movement of the tides)
Tidal currents make the seas around the islands very rough.
On surfing beaches, strong currents are common.
Fast-flowing currents made the rescue job even harder.
Beaches usually have signs that warn of dangerous currents.
▪ a current flows
Sea currents flow at up to 12 miles per hour around parts of the coast.
▪ a current carries somebody/something (=makes them move along in the water)
Their boat was moving fast, carried by the current.
▪ a current sweeps somebody/something (=carries them very powerfully, so that they cannot stop moving)
The treacherous currents have swept away three swimmers in the past year.