AskDefine | Define currant

Dictionary Definition



1 any of several tart red or black berries used primarily for jellies and jams
2 any of various deciduous shrubs of the genus Ribes bearing currants [syn: currant bush]
3 small dried seedless raisin grown in the Mediterranean region and California; used in cooking

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A small dried grape.
  2. The fruit of various bushes of the genus Ribes, either white, black or red.
  3. A bush bearing such fruit.

Derived terms


A small dried grape
The fruit of various bushes of the genus Ribes

See also

Extensive Definition

Currant may refer to:

See also


The word came into English from the Anglo-French phrase "reisin de Corauntz", that referred to small seedless raisins imported from Corinthia in southern Greece. This phrase was first attested in 1334 as "raysyn of Curans" (raisins of Corinth). The word was transferred to the unrelated northern European berries from the genus Ribes when they were introduced to England in 1578. When they were first introduced to America they were thought to be used as a laxative, but was mistaken when people learned that when taken in mass amounts currant causes constipation.
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