- a direction or route taken or to be taken.
- the path, route, or channel along which anything moves: the course of a stream.
- advance or progression in a particular direction; forward or onward movement.
- the continuous passage or progress through time or a succession of stages: in the course of a year; in the course of the battle.
- the track, ground, water, etc., on which a race is run, sailed, etc.: One runner fell halfway around the course.
- a particular manner of proceeding: a course of action.
- a customary manner of procedure; regular or natural order of events: as a matter of course; the course of a disease.
- a mode of conduct; behavior.
- a systematized or prescribed series: a course of lectures; a course of medical treatments.
- a program of instruction, as in a college or university: a course in economics.
- a prescribed number of instruction periods or classes in a particular field of study.
- a part of a meal served at one time: The main course was roast chicken with mashed potatoes and peas.
- the line along the earth’s surface upon or over which a vessel, an aircraft, etc., proceeds: described by its bearing with relation to true or magnetic north.
- a point of the compass.
- Nautical. the lowermost sail on a fully square-rigged mast: designated by a special name, as foresail or mainsail, or by the designation of the mast itself, as fore course or main course.
- Building Trades. a continuous and usually horizontal range of bricks, shingles, etc., as in a wall or roof.
- one of the pairs of strings on an instrument of the lute family, tuned in unison or in octaves to increase the volume.
- the row of stitches going across from side to side in knitting and other needlework (opposed to wale).
- Often courses. the menses.
- a charge by knights in a tournament.
- a pursuit of game with dogs by sight rather than by scent.
- golf course.
- a race.
verb (used with object), coursed, cours·ing.
- to run through or over.
- to chase; pursue.
- to hunt (game) with dogs by sight rather than by scent.
- to cause (dogs) to pursue game by sight rather than by scent.
- Masonry. to lay (bricks, stones, etc.) in courses.
verb (used without object), coursed, cours·ing.
- to follow a course; direct one’s course.
- to run, race, or move swiftly: The blood of ancient emperors courses through his veins.
- to take part in a hunt with hounds, a tilting match, etc.
- in due course, in the proper or natural order of events; eventually: They will get their comeuppance in due course.
- of course,
- certainly; definitely: Of course I’ll come to the party.
- in the usual or natural order of things: Extra services are charged for, of course.
- a continuous progression from one point to the next in time or space; onward movementthe course of his life
- a route or direction followedthey kept on a southerly course
- the path or channel along which something movesthe course of a river
- (in combination)a watercourse
- an area or stretch of land or water on which a sport is played or a race is runa golf course
- a period of time; durationin the course of the next hour
- the usual order of and time required for a sequence of events; regular procedurethe illness ran its course
- a mode of conduct or actionif you follow that course, you will certainly fail
- a connected series of events, actions, etc
- a prescribed number of lessons, lectures, etc, in an educational curriculum
- the material covered in such a curriculum
- a prescribed regimen to be followed for a specific period of timea course of treatment
- a part of a meal served at one timethe fish course
- a continuous, usually horizontal, layer of building material, such as a row of bricks, tiles, etc
- nautical any of the sails on the lowest yards of a square-rigged ship
- knitting the horizontal rows of stitchesCompare wale 1 (def. 2b)
- (in medieval Europe) a charge by knights in a tournament
- a hunt by hounds relying on sight rather than scent
- a match in which two greyhounds compete in chasing a hare
- the part or function assigned to an individual bell in a set of changes
- archaic a running race
- as a matter of course as a natural or normal consequence, mode of action, or event
- the course of nature the ordinary course of events
- in course of in the process ofthe ship was in course of construction
- in due course at some future time, esp the natural or appropriate time
- of course
- (adverb)as expected; naturally
- (sentence substitute)certainly; definitely
- run its course or take its course (of something) to complete its development or action
- (intr) to run, race, or flow, esp swiftly and without interruption
- to cause (hounds) to hunt by sight rather than scent or (of hounds) to hunt (a quarry) thus
- (tr) to run through or over; traverse
- (intr) to take a direction; proceed on a course
n.late 13c., “onward movement,” from Old French cors (12c.) “course; run, running; flow of a river,” from Latin cursus “a running race or course,” from curs- past participle stem of currere “to run” (see current (adj.)). Most extended senses (meals, etc.) are present in 14c. Academic meaning “planned series of study” is c.1600 (in French from 14c.). Phrase of course is attested from 1540s; literally “of the ordinary course;” earlier in same sense was bi cours (c.1300). v.16c., from course (n.). Related: Coursed; coursing. 1In the customary or expected order, naturally, as in The new minister did not, of course, fire the church secretary. This usage, first recorded in 1548, employs course in the sense of “ordinary procedure.” 2Certainly, as in Of course I’ll answer the phone, or Are you going to the meeting?—Of course. [Early 1800s] Also see matter of course. In addition to the idiom beginning with course