Alternating current
Alternating current Al"ter*nat`ing cur"rent (Elec.) A current which periodically changes or reverses its direction of flow, especially an electric current that reverses direction sinusoidally, as is used for most domestic and industrial power requirements. Contrasted with {direct curent}.

Syn: AC [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

Note: The common household current is alternating. Alternating current is easier than direct current to transform to high voltage and back, making long-distance transmission more efficient. [PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alternating current — (green curve). The horizontal axis measures time; the vertical, current or voltage. In alternating current (AC, also ac) the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. In direct current (DC, also dc), the flow of electric charge …   Wikipedia

  • alternating current — alternating currents N VAR An alternating current is an electric current that continually changes direction as it flows. The abbreviation AC is also used …   English dictionary

  • alternating current — ► NOUN ▪ an electric current that reverses its direction many times a second. Compare with DIRECT CURRENT(Cf. ↑direct current) …   English terms dictionary

  • alternating current — n. an electric current that reverses its direction periodically: abbrev. AC: cf. DIRECT CURRENT …   English World dictionary

  • alternating current — n [U] AC a flow of electricity that changes direction regularly and quickly →↑direct current …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Alternating Current —   [engl., Abk. AC], Wechselstrom …   Universal-Lexikon

  • alternating current — Synonyms and related words: AC, DC, absorption current, active current, conduction current, convection current, cycle, delta current, dielectric displacement current, direct current, displacement current, eddy current, electric current, electric… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • alternating current — noun an electric current that reverses direction sinusoidally In the US most household current is AC at 60 cycles per second • Syn: ↑AC, ↑alternating electric current • Ant: ↑direct current • Hypernyms: ↑electricity, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • alternating current — an electric current that reverses direction at regular intervals, having a magnitude that varies continuously in sinusoidal manner. Abbr.: ac Cf. direct current. [1830 40] * * * ▪ electronics abbreviation  AC        flow of electric charge that… …   Universalium

  • alternating 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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