A relatively strong, narrow current flowing outward from the beach through the surf zone and presenting a hazard to swimmers. Also called undertow. Compare with riptide.
- Swimmers caught in this current should swim parallel to the shore until they are out of the rip current.
- Conditions were rough in the river mouth and out to sea, with a strong rip current, heavy rain and thick cloud cover.
- We swam out and I managed to pull the boy out of the strong rip current.
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Syllabification: rip cur·rent
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