word-forming element typically representing cross as a noun, adverb (cross-examine), adjective (crossbar), and in many words a confluence of them. "There is no distinct line of division between cross as an adjective and cross as a prefix. As a prefix, it often represents the adv. cross, or the prep. cross, across." [Century Dictionary]
late 14c., curraunt, "that which runs or flows," from Old French corant (Modern French courant), from Old French corant (see current (adj.)). Meaning "a flowing," especially "portion of a large body of water or air moving in a certain direction," is from 1550s. Applied from 1747 to the flowing of electrical force through a conducting body (electricity formerly was regarded as a sort of fluid).