If it's in the past, it's not current. If it's out of date, out of style, or out of time, it's not current. If it's up-to-the-minute, right now, and in the present, it is current.

Origins of the word current all point to the meaning "present." Things that are current are happening now; they are part of the present time. News reporting looks at "current affairs" because past affairs are no longer news; they are history. Expressions like "staying current" or "keeping up with current events" show a need or desire to know what's popular, important, or relevant now. As a noun, a current can be a flow of water, electricity, or ideas.

Primary Meanings of current

occurring in or belonging to the present time
a steady flow of a fluid (usually from natural causes)
Full Definitions of current

adj occurring in or belonging to the present time

current events”
“the current topic”
current negotiations”
current psychoanalytic theories”
“the ship's current position”
being or existing at the present moment
afoot, underway
currently in progress
passing from one to another
contemporary, present-day
belonging to the present time
currently holding an office
of current relevance
in current use or ready for use
presently occurring (either causally or incidentally)
on-going, ongoing
currently happening
on-line, online
being in progress now
of interest at the present time
reflecting the latest information or changes
latest, up-to-the-minute
up to the immediate present; most recent or most up-to-date
belonging to the modern era; since the Middle Ages
not of long duration; having just (or relatively recently) come into being or been made or acquired or discovered
not current or belonging to the present time
of an earlier date
no longer having force or relevance
disused, obsolete
no longer in use
out-of-date, outdated, superannuated
old; no longer valid or fashionable
becoming obsolete
of long duration; not new
earlier than the present time; no longer current
show more antonyms...

n a steady flow of a fluid (usually from natural causes)

“the raft floated downstream on the current
show 15 types...
hide 15 types...
tidal current, tidal flow
the water current caused by the tides
rip current, riptide
a strong surface current flowing outwards from a shore
undercurrent, undertide
a current below the surface of a fluid
torrent, violent stream
a violently fast stream of water (or other liquid)
eddy, twist
a miniature whirlpool or whirlwind resulting when the current of a fluid doubles back on itself
maelstrom, vortex, whirlpool
a powerful circular current of water (usually the result of conflicting tides)
ocean current
the steady flow of surface ocean water in a prevailing direction
aegir, bore, eager, eagre, tidal bore
a high wave (often dangerous) caused by tidal flow (as by colliding tidal currents or in a narrow estuary)
sea purse, sea puss, sea-poose, sea-purse, sea-puss, undertow
the seaward undercurrent created after waves have broken on the shore
(Greek mythology) a ship-devouring whirlpool lying on the other side of a narrow strait from Scylla
El Nino
(oceanography) a warm ocean current that flows along the equator from the date line and south off the coast of Ecuador at Christmas time
equatorial current
any of the ocean currents that flow westward at the equator
Gulf stream
a warm ocean current that flows from the Gulf of Mexico northward through the Atlantic Ocean
Japan current, Kuroshio, Kuroshio current
a warm ocean current that flows northeastwardly off the coast of Japan into the northern Pacific ocean
Humboldt current, Peruvian current
a cold ocean current that flows north along the Pacific Coast of South America before turning west
Type of:
flow, flowing
the motion characteristic of fluids (liquids or gases)

n a flow of electricity through a conductor

“the current was measured in amperes”
electric current
electric current
thermionic current
an electric current produced between two electrodes as a result of electrons emitted by thermionic emission
Type of:
electrical phenomenon
a physical phenomenon involving electricity

n dominant course (suggestive of running water) of successive events or ideas

“the current of history”
flow, stream
Type of:
course, line
a connected series of events or actions or developments

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.