Definition of course in English:

course

Line breaks: course
Pronunciation: /kɔːs
 
/

noun

1The route or direction followed by a ship, aircraft, road, or river: the road adopts a tortuous course along the coast the new fleet changed course to join the other ships
More example sentences
  • One example of this is the Huanhe Road project that is to follow the course of the Xindian River in Taipei County.
  • At its most basic, canyoning is following a river along its course through a gulley.
  • Alternatively, you could hire a bike and follow the course of the River Loir from Vendome to its confluence with the Sarthe.
Synonyms
route, way, track, direction, tack, path, line, journey, itinerary, channel, trail, trajectory, flight path, bearing, heading, orbit, circuit, beat, round, run
1.1The way in which something progresses or develops: the course of history
More example sentences
  • Once respiratory or renal disease develops, the course is usually rapidly progressive.
  • We'll of course be back to you if any developments occur during the course of this program.
  • It has characters that are compelling, sympathetic and which develop over the course of the plot.
Synonyms
progression, development, progress, advance, advancement, evolution, unfolding, flow, movement, continuity, sequence, order, succession, rise, march, furtherance, forwarding, proceeding
1.2 (also course of action) [count noun] A procedure adopted to deal with a situation: my decision had seemed to be the wisest course open to me at the time
More example sentences
  • An osteopath will review the individual's health first before advising on a course of action.
  • We are trying to avoid the word policy, that commits us down a certain course of action.
  • I will not pretend to have the skill necessary to lay out a course of action to solve this problem.
Synonyms
plan (of action), course of action, method of working, MO, line of action, process, procedure, practice, approach, technique, style, manner, way, means, mode of behaviour, mode of conduct, methodology, system, policy, strategy, programme, formula, regimen; Latinmodus operandi
rare praxis
2A dish, or a set of dishes served together, forming one of the successive parts of a meal: guests are offered a choice of main course [in combination]: a four-course meal
More example sentences
  • The Japanese, like most other Asians, do not usually serve meals in courses but set all the dishes on the table at the start of the meal.
  • Instead of serving dishes in courses, a Thai meal is served all at once, permitting dinners to enjoy complementary combinations of different tastes.
  • On the Sunday evening after the competition was over, a 3 course meal was served.
Synonyms
dish, menu item
3An area of land set aside and prepared for racing, golf, or another sport.
More example sentences
  • One of the benefits of playing golf at new courses are the ideas you pick up.
  • It is a full service shotgun complex with two fully automated sporting clays courses, and golf carts are included.
  • While they want to incorporate some sightseeing into the trip, they have specified a minimum of four rounds of golf at leading courses in the chosen area.
Synonyms
track, racetrack, racecourse, circuit, ground, stadium, speedway, velodrome, route, trail; in ancient Romecircus
rare cirque
4A series of lectures or lessons in a particular subject, leading to an examination or qualification: a business studies course
More example sentences
  • This could occur in small groups in teacher education courses or in large class discussions.
  • The center offers research fellowships, courses, lecture series, conferences, and publications.
  • The figures relate to primary and secondary postgraduate teacher training courses for all subjects.
Synonyms
programme of study, course of study, educational programme, set of lectures, curriculum, syllabus, schedule; classes, lectures, studies
4.1 Medicine A series of repeated treatments or doses of medication: the doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics
More example sentences
  • Initial treatment should be medical with a course of antibiotics of at least two weeks duration.
  • First dose reactions occur after the first dose of a course of treatment and not necessarily thereafter.
  • A recurrence followed his initial recovery, and he needed a repeat course of treatment.
Synonyms
programme, series, sequence, system, schedule, regimen
4.2 Bell-ringing A series of changes which brings the bells back to their original order, or the changes of a particular bell.
5A continuous horizontal layer of brick, stone, or other material in a wall.
More example sentences
  • A continuous render is taken up the sides and over the top of the core material of a wall, the core material being some three courses of mud bricks about forty centimetres high.
  • The effect of height of a temple till now was mitigated and compromised by the horizontal courses of stone used for construction.
  • One face of the double-sided fireplace features two courses of light buff brick alternating with a single, inset course of red bricks.
Synonyms
6A pursuit of game (especially hares) with greyhounds by sight rather than scent.
7A sail on the lowest yards of a square-rigged ship.
More example sentences
  • Next we had to set the course sail, the top sail of the forward mast, then the foresails out over the bowsprit.
8A set of adjacent strings on a guitar, lute, etc., tuned to the same note.
More example sentences
  • The early lute was played with a plectrum and had four double courses of strings; during the 15th century a fifth course was added.
  • The kanoun is a large zither, often with 70 to 100 strings arranged in courses of three.

verb

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1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] (Of liquid) move without obstruction; flow: tears were coursing down her cheeks figurative exultation coursed through him
More example sentences
  • The warm liquid coursed down her throat, calming the fear she felt.
  • My father may have been in the merchant navy, but that doesn't mean there's salt water coursing through my veins.
  • The start of the main race was delayed after a thunderstorm hit the circuit, causing heavy flooding, with water coursing across the track in several places.
Synonyms
flow, pour, race, stream, run, rush, gush, pump, move, cascade, flood, surge, sweep, roll
British informal sloosh
2 [with object] Pursue (game, especially hares) with greyhounds using sight rather than scent: many of the hares coursed escaped unharmed [no object]: she would course for hares with her greyhounds
More example sentences
  • True: but we have all seen photographs of beings in rapid motion - horses racing, greyhounds coursing a hare, men running over a field, and so on.
  • He is too fast to be coursed in sight, and is hunted by scent, which varies with temperature, climate and soil.
  • The farmer thought they were coursing hares and called police.
Synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French cours, from Latin cursus, from curs- 'run', from the verb currere.

Phrases

course of action

see sense 1 of the noun.
More example sentences
  • The prospect of ministers sharing in the financial pain may help the Tories sell such a course of action.
  • The hospital was waiting for tests to reveal the cause of the illness, allowing doctors to then determine the best course of action.
  • The only course of action is to persuade him to resign or to hold a primary.

the course of nature

Events or processes which are normal and to be expected: each man would, in the course of nature, have his private opinions
More example sentences
  • As a result of this tampering with the course of nature, water has entered several residential colonies, forcing the people to stay indoors, during the last spell of rain, he adds.
  • Are they to rely on the course of nature - an uncontrollable voice and unexpected hair growth to be the only sign of impending adulthood?
  • No causal study could rule out the possibility that its results were not due directly it interfering with the course of nature.

in (the) course of ——

1Undergoing the specified process: a new text book was in course of preparation
More example sentences
  • The plans for the new station are in course of preparation, but nothing definite has been decided in this connection pending the formation of the new terminal company.
  • When this judgment was in course of preparation counsel drew my attention to three additional cases.
  • It is prohibited to burn vegetation between the 1st of March and the 31st of August growing on any land which is at the time not cultivated or not in course of cultivation for agriculture or forestry.
2During the specified period or activity: he was a friend to many people in the course of his life
More example sentences
  • A series of political crises in the course of this period mark the decay of the old bourgeois-democratic framework.
  • Only gradually in the course of this period were polities defined in clear terms of territory and explicit geographical sensibility.
  • Two years passed and I hadn't seen the boy more than five times in the course of that period.
Synonyms
duration, passing, passage, lapse, period, term, span, spell, sweep

in (or over) the course of time

As time goes by: the property will deteriorate in the course of time
More example sentences
  • The nature of that support is the matter of ongoing discussions and it's too soon to speculate about what it might develop into in the course of time.
  • This is a topic which I will return to in the course of time, when I shall use the evidence presented in this book to discuss one key decision that writers have to make.
  • He said people should encourage musicians to render new keertanas so that they too became popular in the course of time.

of course

Used to introduce an idea or action as being obvious or to be expected: the point is of course that the puzzle itself is misleading
More example sentences
  • This of course entails the idea that the ruling ideology doesn't take itself seriously.
  • This all seemed a great idea in principle but of course the numbers don't work.
  • Older people cannot, of course, be expected to know what they might care to do with their time.
Synonyms
naturally, as might be expected, as you/one would expect, needless to say, not unexpectedly, certainly, to be sure, as was anticipated, as a matter of course; obviously, clearly, it goes without saying
informal natch
Used to give or emphasize agreement or permission: ‘Can I see you for a minute?’ ‘Of course.’
More example sentences
  • Oh yes, sure I got messages from others, and of course I was ecstatic to hear from them.
  • There is no doubt that we want to do well and of course we will try and win the championship if that is possible.
Synonyms
yes, certainly, definitely, absolutely, by all means, with pleasure
informal sure thing
Introducing a qualification or admission: of course we’ve been in touch by phone, but I wanted to see things for myself
More example sentences
  • They must have thought we were on a pleasure cruise, and of course in lots of ways we were.
  • That's assuming that blogging and the column both last another year of course.
  • Oh, of course, he had invited me to tea, but been asked out himself, and forgotten all about me.

off course

Not following the intended route: the car went careering off course
More example sentences
  • A knee injury, a doping ban and problems with his former team all combined to knock his career off course.
  • That way when the car goes a little off course, it could just bounce right back in and continue merrily on its way.
  • An arrow that spins less will not cut through the air the same and it will drift further off course.

on course

Following the intended route: he battled to keep the ship on course figurative we need to spend money to get the economy back on course
More example sentences
  • We were on course now, following the postage stamp sign and heading straight for the museum.
  • But the messy bit was quick and we were on course and on track and pasture to a back road, only one car came by.
  • When he rolled the racer back on course the ship flipped over on its back and dove into the ground.
(on course for/to do something) Likely to achieve something: he was on course for victory
More example sentences
  • He predicts that the group is already on course to achieve £8.5m profits in the current financial year.
  • So far this year, 27 members have passed, putting the group on course to achieve its target.
  • At 17, and with a three handicap, he is well on course to achieve his dream of becoming a professional.
Synonyms
on track, on target, on schedule

run (or take) its course

Complete its natural development without interference: his illness had to run its course to the crisis
More example sentences
  • We have the right to say ‘enough,’ and let the natural dying process take its course.
  • What about brushing one's teeth, as opposed to letting natural tooth decay take its course?
  • He believed that natural justice was taking its course and judicial fairness, according to common law, would be afforded.

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