Meaning of CURRENT in English

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.

• • •


▪ 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.

current of

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.

current of

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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▪ 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.

▪ strong

On surfing beaches, strong currents are common.

▪ fast/fast-flowing

Fast-flowing currents made the rescue job even harder.

▪ dangerous/treacherous

Beaches usually have signs that warn of dangerous currents.

■ verbs

▪ 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.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.