Current (type of water)

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Classification of the different types of water
Rhine-Maas Delta

A stream is a large river that flows into the open sea . The criteria given are a length of at least 500 km and a catchment area of at least 100,000 km².


In Germany, in accordance with DIN standard 4049, the estuary is often used to define electricity . According to this definition, a stream would be a river that flows directly into the sea. After that, the Ems , which flows into the North Sea, would be a river, but the Danube tributaries Inn and Tisza , which carry significantly more water , would not.

A distinction must also be made between rivers and the significantly shorter and only comparatively small catchment areas of the coastal rivers .


The idiomatic phrase used is swimming with the flow (following the prevailing opinion, conforming) and swimming against the current (opposing the prevailing opinion, not conforming).

Shame not to acknowledge / where you have hacked / and do not strive against the current. Sirach 4, 31 (Luther Bible 1545)
Do not be ashamed to confess when you have sinned and do not go against the current. Sirach 4, 26 (Luther Bible 2017)


The following mighty rivers are often referred to as “rivers” in German - at least on their lower reaches :

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Herder's Neues Handlexikon, 1987
  2. In Germany the Ems is sometimes added.