direct current
electric current electric current, electrical current electrical current, the movement of electrically charged particles, atoms, or ions, through solids, liquids, gases, or free space; the term is usually used of relatively smooth movements of electric charge through conductors, whether constant or variable. Sudden movements of charge are usually referred to by other terms, such as {spark} or {lightning} or {discharge}. In metallic conductors the electric current is usually due to movement of electrons through the metal. The current is measured as the rate of movement of charge per unit time, and is counted in units of amperes. As a formal definition, the direction of movement of electric current is considered as the same as the direction of movement of positive charge, or in a direction opposite to the movement of negative charge. Electric current may move constantly in a single direction, called {direct current} (abbreviated {DC}), or may move alternately in one direction and then the opposite direction, called {alternating current} (abbreviated {AC}). [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Direct current — (red curve). The horizontal axis measures time; the vertical, current or voltage. Direct current (DC) is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and… …   Wikipedia

  • direct current — n. an electric current flowing in one direction: abbrev. DC: cf. ALTERNATING CURRENT * * * ▪ electronics abbreviation  Dc,         flow of electric charge that does not change direction. Direct current is produced by batteries, fuel cells,… …   Universalium

  • Direct current — (Elec.) (a) A current flowing in one direction only; distinguished from {alternating current}. When steady and not pulsating a direct current is often called a {continuous current}. (b) {A direct induced current}, or momentary current of the same …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • direct current — direct currents N VAR A direct current is an electric current that always flows in the same direction. The abbreviation DC is also used. Some kinds of batteries can be recharged by connecting them to a source of direct current …   English dictionary

  • direct current — n an electric current flowing in one direction only and substantially constant in value abbr. DC * * * (DC) a current that flows in one direction only; when modeled as a wave, its amplitude is constant. When used medically it is called galvanic… …   Medical dictionary

  • direct current — ► NOUN ▪ an electric current flowing in one direction only. Compare with ALTERNATING CURRENT(Cf. ↑alternating current) …   English terms dictionary

  • direct current. — direct current, adj. Elect. an electric current of constant direction, having a magnitude that does not vary or varies only slightly. Abbr.: dc Cf. alternating current. [1885 90] * * * …   Universalium

  • direct current — n. an electric current flowing in one direction: abbrev. DC: cf. ALTERNATING CURRENT …   English World dictionary

  • direct current. — direct current, adj. Elect. an electric current of constant direction, having a magnitude that does not vary or varies only slightly. Abbr.: dc Cf. alternating current. [1885 90] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Direct Current —   [engl.], Gleichstrom …   Universal-Lexikon

  • direct current — noun an electric current that flows in one direction steadily (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑DC, ↑direct electric current • Ant: ↑alternating current • Hypernyms: ↑electricity, ↑e …   Useful english dictionary

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