A current of electricity exists in a region when a net electric charge is transported from one point to another in that region. Suppose the charge is moving through a wire. If a charge q is transported through a given cross section of the wire in a time t, then the current through the wire is:

I = q / t

Here, q is in coulombs, t is in seconds, and I is in amperes (1 A = 1 C/s). By custom the direction of the current is taken to be in the direction of flow of positive charge. Thus, a flow of electrons to the right corresponds to a current to the left.

Cur"rent (k?r"rent), a. [OE. currant, OF. curant, corant, p. pr. of curre, corre, F. courre, courir, to run, from L. currere; perh. akin to E. horse. Cf. Course, Concur, Courant, Coranto.]


Running or moving rapidly.


Like the current fire, that renneth Upon a cord. Gower.

To chase a creature that was current then In these wild woods, the hart with golden horns. Tennyson.


Now passing, as time; as, the current month.


Passing from person to person, or from hand to hand; circulating through the community; generally received; common; as, a current coin; a current report; current history.

That there was current money in Abraham's time is past doubt. Arbuthnot.

Your fire-new stamp of honor is scarce current. Shak.

His current value, which is less or more as men have occasion for him. Grew.


Commonly estimated or acknowledged.


Fitted for general acceptance or circulation; authentic; passable.

O Buckingham, now do I play the touch To try if thou be current gold indeed. Shak.

Account current. See under Account. -- Current money, lawful money.



© Webster 1913.

Cur"rent, n. [Cf. F. courant. See Current, a. ]


A flowing or passing; onward motion. Hence: A body of fluid moving continuously in a certain direction; a stream; esp., the swiftest part of it; as, a current of water or of air; that which resembles a stream in motion; as, a current of electricity.

Two such silver currents, when they join, Do glorify the banks that bound them in. Shak.

The surface of the ocean is furrowed by currents, whose direction . . . the navigator should know. Nichol.


General course; ordinary procedure; progressive and connected movement; as, the current of time, of events, of opinion, etc.

Current meter, an instrument for measuring the velocity, force, etc., of currents. -- Current mill, a mill driven by a current wheel. -- Current wheel, a wheel dipping into the water and driven by the current of a stream or by the ebb and flow of the tide.

Syn. -- Stream; course. See Stream.


© Webster 1913.

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