Concurrent means happening at the same time, as in two movies showing at the same theater on the same weekend.

You might notice another adjective, current, in concurrent. While current refers to something that is happening right now, concurrent describes two or more things happening at the same time. A prisoner who is serving two concurrent five-year sentences will serve those prison terms together, meaning that he'll probably get out of jail in five years rather than ten. To help you remember the meaning of concurrent, imagine two parallel kayaks being carried down a river by the current at the same time.

Definitions of concurrent
  1. adjective
    occurring or operating at the same time
    synonyms: co-occurrent, coincident, coincidental, coinciding, cooccurring, simultaneous
    synchronal, synchronic, synchronous
    occurring or existing at the same time or having the same period or phase
Commonly confused words

concurrent / consecutive

Bad guys don’t like these words because they often describe jail terms: concurrent means at the same time, and consecutive means one after the other in a series. Con artists would rather serve concurrent terms and get them over with, instead of consecutive ones.

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