Electric current, any movement of electric charge carriers, such as subatomic charged particles (e.g., electrons having negative charge, protons having positive charge), ions (atoms that have lost or gained one or more electrons), or holes (electron deficiencies that may be thought of as positive particles).
Electric current in a wire, where the charge carriers are electrons, is a measure of the quantity of charge passing any point of the wire per unit of time. In alternating current(q.v.) the motion of the electric charges is periodically reversed; in direct current(q.v.) it is not. In many contexts the direction of the current in electric circuits is taken as the direction of positive charge flow, the direction opposite to the actual electrondrift. When so defined the current is called conventional current.