currant

\ \ [14] Etymologically, currants are grapes from ‘Corinth’. In the Middle Ages Corinth, in Greece, exported small dried grapes of particularly high quality, which became known in Old French as raisins de Corinthegrapes of Corinth’. This phrase passed via Anglo-Norman raisins de corauntz into Middle English as raisins of coraunce. By the 16th century, coraunce had come to be regarded as a plural form, and a new singular was coined from it – at first coren, and then in the 17th century currant.
\ \ In the late 16th century, too, the name was transferred to fruit such as the blackcurrant and redcurrant, under the mistaken impression that the ‘dried-grape’ currant was made from them.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Currant — may refer to: Plants Ribes, genus of berry plants, e.g. blackcurrant, redcurrant Zante currant, dried Black Corinth grapes; smaller than raisins Currant tomato, Solanum pimpinellifolium, small tomato species Currant tree, Amelanchier canadensis,… …   Wikipedia

  • Currant — Cur rant (k?r rant), n. [F. corinthe (raisins de Corinthe raisins of Corinth) currant (in sense 1), from the city of Corinth in Greece, whence, probably, the small dried grape (1) was first imported, the Ribes fruit (2) receiving the name from… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • currant — (n.) c.1500, from raysyn of Curans (mid 14c.) raisins of Corinth, with the s mistaken for a plural inflection. From Anglo Fr. reisin de Corauntz. The small, seedless raisins were exported from southern Greece. Then in 1570s the word was applied… …   Etymology dictionary

  • currant — ► NOUN 1) a dried fruit made from a small seedless variety of grape. 2) a shrub producing small edible black, red, or white berries. ORIGIN from Old French raisins de Corauntz grapes of Corinth (the original source) …   English terms dictionary

  • currant — [kʉr′ənt] n. [ME corauns < (reisins of) Coraunce < Anglo Fr ( raisins de) Corauntz, (raisins of) Corinth: orig. imported from Corinth] 1. the raisin of a small, seedless grape (a cultivar of Vitis vinifera) grown in the Mediterranean region …   English World dictionary

  • currant — /kerr euhnt, kur /, n. 1. a small seedless raisin, produced chiefly in California and in the Levant, and used in cookery and confectionery. 2. the small, edible, acid, round fruit or berry of certain wild or cultivated shrubs of the genus Ribes.… …   Universalium

  • currant — UK [ˈkʌrənt] / US noun [countable] Word forms currant : singular currant plural currants 1) a small dark dried fruit often used in cakes a currant bun 2) a small round fruit that may be red, black, or white, and grows on a currant bush currant… …   English dictionary

  • currant — [14] Etymologically, currants are grapes from ‘Corinth’. In the Middle Ages Corinth, in Greece, exported small dried grapes of current 146 particularly high quality, which became known in Old French as raisins de Corinthe ‘grapes of Corinth’.… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • currant — n. 1 a dried fruit of a small seedless variety of grape grown in the Levant and much used in cookery. 2 a any of various shrubs of the genus Ribes producing red, white, or black berries. b a berry of these shrubs. Phrases and idioms: flowering… …   Useful english dictionary

  • currant — noun Currant is used before these nouns: ↑bun, ↑jelly …   Collocations dictionary

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